Women-led impact, student debt relief, small-ticket business loans in India, Nordic fund for the global goals

Quona Capital leads $12.8 million round for India small-business lender SMECorner. The Mumbai-based lender makes small-ticket loans to more than 3,000 kirana stores, electrical shops, garment sellers, pharmacies and other retailers in nine cities in three states in India. With its proprietary underwriting model, SMECorner has reduced the loan approval process to three days, from an average of two weeks at traditional banks. The global fintech investor Quona Capital led the financing with 35 crore ($5 million) from its Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund. Existing investors, including Accion Venture Lab, invested the balance. SMECorner, which also raised an undisclosed amount of debt from financial institutions, aims to expand to 40 cities.

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