Alphabet, Google’s parent company, made its first investment in India’s AYE Finance through its investment arm named Capital G. This will be the first investment by the company in Indian financial services sector, and the value is around $21.5 million.
This investment was part of a Series C round of funding, which also saw participation from other players such as Unitus Capital, who was the financial advisor to the entire transaction. The transaction saw CapitalG invest around $12 billion in AYE Finance. The funding round also saw participation from existing investors of AYE Finance such as SAIF Partners and LGT.
As of now, AYE Finance has raised a capital around $37 billion across four rounds of funding. There was a fourth investor, Accion, who did not participate in this latest funding round. AYE Finance is an NBFC and will be using these funds to increase its lookbook, which is currently recorded at $77 billion.
Speaking on this occasion, Sanjay Sharma, Managing Director of AYE Finance, said, “We are already a very well-organized technology platform, but we will use some portion of the proceeds to further upgrade it. We will be using a lot more of cloud platforms and integrate machine learning algorithms… We want to take it to the next level, which will include taking our processes on platforms, involving artificial intelligence.”
Kaushik Anand, India head of Capital G said, “MSMEs are a major contributor to the Indian economy… However, they continue to lack access to formal credit. We were looking for a company which serves the large demand for credit for MSMEs.” He further said, “One of the challenges here is that you need to have low cost of operations, given that these are small-ticket loans. Through the adoption of technology, AYE has been able to do that, and address a large portion of the Indian market.”