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Indian fintech firm Kinara Capital bags $7m in funding for women entrepreneurs

Posted on Mar 9, 2021
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Kinara Capital founder and CEO Hardika Shah / Photo credit: Kinara Capital

Kinara Capital, a fintech company that provides loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises, announced it has secured 520 million rupees (US$7 million) in investment from Impact Investment Exchange (IIX).

Founded in 2011, Kinara Capital is a non-banking financial company that propels the financial inclusion of small entrepreneurs through collateral-free business loans.

It launched its HerVikas business loans program in March last year to accelerate the financial inclusion of women entrepreneurs in India. The program enables their “vikas” or progress with an automatic upfront discount of 1% on interest costs on collateral-free business loans between 100,000 rupees (US$1,363.2) and 3 million rupees (US$40,898.6).

The capital injection will go toward extending the program to over 2,500 women-owned small businesses.

Women-owned businesses comprise about 20% of the 60 million micro, small, and medium enterprises in India, according to Kinara Capital. The company aims to tackle systemic gender bias by defying common practices, such as requiring the presence of a male relative whenever women apply for a loan.

“Empowering women has a strong impact on improving the quality of life for families, and achieving gender parity can add 27% to India’s GDP,” said Hardika Shah, founder and CEO at Kinara Capital.

Based in Bangalore, the company operates 110 branches in over 90 cities in India and claims to have disbursed over 20 billion rupees (US$272.6 million) across 56,000 collateral-free small business loans.

The latest investment comes after Kinara Capital raised US$10 million in funding from IndusInd Bank in February this year.

Currency converted from Indian rupee to US dollar: US$1 = 73.35 rupees.

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