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OPIC, RBL Bank and NeoGrowth Sign Commitment for SME Financing to Retail Businesses in India


October 7, 2016

Innovative technology helps provide financing to underserved markets

WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, RBL Bank Limited, and NeoGrowth Credit Private Limited today announced they’ve reached a commitment to provide financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that operate in the Indian retail space. RBL Bank’s financing to NeoGrowth, made possible by an OPIC $5 million loan guaranty, will unlock stable, long-term financing for NeoGrowth to provide loans for retail small businesses across India that are typically excluded from mainstream financing.

NeoGrowth, a Mumbai-based non-bank finance institution, uses innovative technology to serve the financing needs of these businesses, which have traditionally struggled to obtain financing from commercial banks due to their small size, inadequate credit history and lack of collateral.  By analyzing turnover data from a merchant’s point-of-sales terminal, NeoGrowth uses a proprietary credit scoring system to help determine creditworthiness. The OPIC guaranty will allow NeoGrowth to provide loans ranging in size from three thousand to $120 thousand to these retail SMEs, which will have a positive impact on job creation and economic growth in India.

“OPIC is committed to helping underserved small businesses gain access to the loans they need to grow their businesses,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “In the retail sector in India, many small businesses can’t simply go to a bank and get a loan – their businesses aren’t large enough or don’t have a credit history. With the help of OPIC and RBL, NeoGrowth will use its innovative technology to invest in these small retail businesses, helping them to grow and thrive.”

Vishwavir Ahuja, Managing Director & CEO, RBL Bank, said, “We are very happy to partner with OPIC- one of the world’s leading development financial institutions in further expanding our existing relationship with NeoGrowth- a Non- Banking Finance Company with an innovative business model dedicated to financing the small & medium (SME) business enterprises in India. As a bank, we have stayed focused on serving the needs of India’s growing SME sector especially the emerging segments such as organized retail, e-commerce, logistics and consumer services. This financing structure, leveraging OPIC’s strengths and RBL’s India expertise, will enable NeoGrowth to steadily lend to industries and segments that have good growth potential and enable these entities to grow to the next level.”

“We were wondering how to mobilise additional resources to lend to our customers, and the OPIC loan guarantee backed arrangement with RBL Bank will help extend our reach and serve many more customers,” said Piyush Khaitan, Founder and Managing Director of NeoGrowth. “Over 50% of small businesses in India are denied credit using traditional credit-assessment, and NeoGrowth reaches out to them. Enabling first-time borrowers and women entrepreneurs is an area of special focus for NeoGrowth”

This commitment is provided under our new Portfolio for Impact (PI) program, which targets smaller, earlier stage investments in high impact social enterprises. OPIC launched PI in 2014 to focus on supporting high-impact projects that might be particularly challenged to obtain financing. Two years later, the success of the PI program has helped establish that small businesses can achieve a powerful positive social impact, and small amounts of financing can go a long way to supporting their mission.

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About OPIC

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide. For more information visit www.opic.gov

About NeoGrowth Credit Private Limited

NeoGrowth is a FinTech player that gives loans to brick & click merchants. NeoGrowth has pioneered a unique model in India which enables flexible and automated repayment of these loans. NeoGrowth provides innovative loan products against future credit card and debit card sales to retailers. The company has helped customers build and improve credit history, and fosters financial inclusion and business growth, resulting in new job creation. Having piloted the product in 2012, NeoGrowth has launched commercial operations in ten major cities across India and plans to expand to other markets in India shortly. NeoGrowth has also recently launched its new offering, NeoCash Online, designed exclusively for online sellers on e-commerce marketplaces and retailers selling online through independent portals. For more information visit www.neogrowth.in

About RBL Bank Limited
RBL Bank is one of India’s fastest growing private sector banks with an expanding presence across the country. It currently services over 2 million customers through a network of 201 branches and 373 ATMs spread across 16 Indian states and Union Territories. RBL Bank has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a ‘Global Growth Company’ (GCC). It has also been awarded as ‘India’s Best Bank (Growth)’ in the ‘Small-Sized Bank segment’ by Business Today-KPMG Best Bank Study for four consecutive years – 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Established in 1943, RBL Bank started a transformational journey under a new management team in 2010. Today, the Bank offers specialised services under six business verticals namely: Corporate & Institutional Banking, Commercial Banking, Branch & Business Banking, Agribusiness Banking, Development Banking and Financial Inclusion, Treasury and Financial Markets Operations.

RBL Bank is listed on both NSE and BSE (RBLBANK). For more information visit www.rblbank.com