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Northern Arc Capital raises $50M from Jica for on-lending to women borrowers

Northern Arc Capital, which is mostly into debt arrangement and small lending, has raised $50 million (around Rs 365 crore) in external commercial borrowing from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for on-lending to small borrowers.

Jica is the Japanese government agency that works towards promoting economic and social growth in developing countries.

Northern Arc’s retail loan book is worth Rs 548 crore now. It typically lends through MFIs and around 250 originator partners, Kshama Fernandes, Managing Director and CEO at Northern Arc, formerly IFMR Capital Finance, told PTI.

The company will use the proceeds for on-lending to women or towards companies that mostly benefit women through these MFIs and originator partners, she said on Tuesday.

Keiichiro Nakazawa, Senior Vice-President at JICA, said, “We expect more Indian women to have access to financial services through this partnership with Northern Arc. Also, we are delighted that this loan is our first co-financing with USDFC in India.”

Commenting on the ECB transaction, Fernandes said, “This transaction is proof of our ability to forge partnerships with and attract funding from reputed global developmental financial institutions. This transaction will help us further our mission of catering to the diverse credit requirements of underserved households and businesses.”

The usage of proceeds will be towards promoting women entrepreneurship and employment, an important target area for the company, she added.

Since 2009, Northern Arc has enabled financing for originator partners who have impacted over 54.21 million lives across the country, of which more than 42 million were women.

Northern Arc — which has cumulatively raised over Rs 95,000 crore funds for its clients since its inception in 2009 — is backed by private equity players, including Leapfrog Capital, IIFL, Accion, Augusta Investments (Affirma Capital), Dvara Trust, Eight Roads, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

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