Indonesian P2P lending startup Amartha announced that it has raised US$7.5 million funding from Norfund, a Norwegian government investment fund for developing nations. The funding will be channelled in the form of capital to empower more women small business owners in rural Indonesia to encourage an environmentally sustainable business.
This collaboration was marked by an agreement signing ceremony attended by Norway Ambassador Vegard Kaale and Amartha CEO & Founder Andi Taufan Garuda Putra at the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta on Friday, June 4.
Norfund Investment Director & Head of Asia Regional Office Fay Chetnakarnkul said that Norfund works together with financial institutions to support them in their work in providing capital access and financial services for micro-businesses and the unbankable segment. “We appreciate this partnership with Amartha and the work that they have been doing to empower women micro-business owners in Indonesia.”
Norwegian Ambassador Vegard Kaale added that despite its robust economic growth, financial inclusion remains an issue among some segment of the society, particularly women micro-business owners.
“Norfund is a crucial platform for the Norwegian Government to empower private institutions in developing nations as well as to decrease poverty rate. This investment is the first for Norfund in a financial institution in Indonesia; my hope is that it will play a great role in supporting the growth and success of Amartha.”
Chetnakarnkul shared an opinion with Kaale that the partnership will be a good start for Norfund’s long term commitment in Indonesia.
Amartha CEO & Founder Putra stated that Norfund’s support marks the institution’s trust in Amartha to recover in this difficult time. “Under the guidance of Norway as a leading market in renewable energy, Amartha is looking forward to learning from the best.”
Norfund’s participation as an investor in Amartha is in line with the company’s effort to actively takes part in environmentally sustainable activities since 2018, which includes the publication of an annual environmental impact and sustainability report. In 2019, the company scored the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) award from B-Corp with a Platinum grade.
Last year, the company also initiated the Plastic Waste Womenpreneur (PWW) programme by investing in women micro-business owners who play a crucial role in minimising plastic waste in rural areas.
By today Amartha has channelled more than IDR3.7 trillion (US$258,677) to 678,502 women in 18,900 villages in Java, Sumatra, and Celebes.
As a tech startup, Amartha channels financial services and innovative products such as savings, micro insurance, and bulk shopping that is tailored to the needs of the informal economy. With this approach, Amartha wants to be at the forefront in the list of digital financial platforms for the rural segment.
In April, Amartha also announced a US$28 million led by Women’s World Banking (WWB) through WWB Capital Partners II and MDI Ventures with existing investors Mandiri Capital Indonesia (MCI) and YOB Venture Management.