To provide debt solutions to impact-focused startups that aim to create a positive social or environmental impact
Hyderabad: Caspian Debt, a Hyderabad-based digital corporate lending services company has partnered with Chennai-based Villgro, an incubator of early-stage social enterprises, to provide debt solutions to impact-focused startups that aim to create a positive social or environmental impact.
Villgro’s portfolio company, Bharat Rohan, a Lucknow-based agri-tech startup was the recipient of the first loan disbursed for Rs 25 lakh. Bharat Rohan uses UAV/drone based hyperspectral remote sensing and artificial intelligence to make precision agriculture, integrated pest management and contract farming viable.
Caspian Debt will work closely with Villgro over the year to identify early-stage startups in impact sectors like healthcare, clean energy, food & agri and education, and provide them with small-ticket quick loans ranging from Rs 10 to 25 lakh. The objective is to provide debt access to impact focused startups by creating a guarantee-backed product to help de-risk these collateral-free loans.
“Emerging social enterprises in India face the challenge of having limited access to debt due to the lack of credit history and an existing negative feedback nexus between credit history and access to debt. The nascent stage of venture debt coupled with a very low-risk appetite for early-stage startups is also one of the reasons for the limited access to debt,” said S Viswanatha Prasad, MD, Caspian Debt.
“Through this partnership with Villgro, we will provide the first set of debts by the end of Q3 2021. We hope to help startups from high impact sectors to gain independent access to debt, progressively improve their debt limits, and in the long-term benefit from decreased interest rates,” he added.
“Invention-based enterprises face a near impossible task of accessing capital during their early days. This partnership is built on the insight that it only needs a small amount of capital to catalyse business operations, and that credit risk can be reduced using innovative methods to enable access to this capital,” said Srinivas Ramanujam, CEO Villgro India.