Financial Inclusion | March 25, 2024

Optimo Loans secures $10 million to offer credit to rural India’s micro businesses

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

Just one-quarter of India’s micro and small businesses have access to formal financial services; an estimated 53 million businesses are unbanked.

Bangalore-based Optimo Loans, launched last year, offers access to credit for India’s rural businesses. Its approach marries digital underwriting and loan disbursement technology with field agents that appraise businesses in person.

The fintech venture offers working capital equipment financing, merchant cash advances, invoice financing and business expansion loans. It says it can disburse loans within several days.

Optimo raised a $10 million pre-seed round led by Blume Ventures and Omnivore.

Deal uptick

India’s Impact Investors Council reports rebounding impact investing deals since last year’s lull. The number of impact deals inked each month has climbed back into the mid-30s, after averaging about 20 deals per month last summer and fall, the council reported.

Climate tech was last month’s favored sector, with 14 deals totaling $130 million, or more than half of all invested impact capital. In January, ventures targeting financial inclusion notched 10 deals and raised 60% of impact capital that month.