Investors have capitalised on the boom in emerging market lending by backing Everstone Capital Partners, a private equity group focused on lending to businesses in the region.

The latest example was Azimo, a Polish online money transfer company, which was one of the first three loans Everstone made in 2015 as the investment group joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a £400m funding round.

Having secured business since Azimo’s launch in 2013, Everstone will double its workforce from 16 to 32 in Poland by 2020, its head of operations, Rasko Khyentsevych, said. The group has now made $400m worth of investments in the region.

“We were able to bring in new people to build the infrastructure in the company,” Mr Khyentsevych said.

The term loans have been issued at rates between 5.75 per cent and 7.5 per cent and are now due to mature in 2028. Everstone expects to lend more than half of the money it makes in 2020 to newly established companies in Poland and elsewhere in the region, as it is cheaper to invest in new ventures with ambitions to expand in Africa, South America, eastern Europe and central Asia than in the mature markets of the west.

The group plans to raise about $500m of term loans this year.

A loan worth $65m will go to the Azimo subsidiary Sweet Capital, which is to be held by Everstone’s wholly owned subsidiary Azimo AB. The debt is being secured with a first mortgage on the group’s offices in Prague.

By contrast, US money transfer companies TransferWise and Xoom have less credit history in the region than Azimo, despite posting small profits in 2016.

While Western Union dominates remittance into Poland, Azimo is the second-biggest overseas provider of money transfers in the country, according to Euromonitor, a research group.

Azimo, which raised $38m from investors in the funding round last year, has become a reference brand for online money transfers in Poland, and had almost 1m registered users as of June, according to Euromonitor.

The gap in credit quality among digital transfers is set to grow as local interest rates rise. This is likely to help push small transfers up in Poland, providing a fertile territory for the business.

The group’s biggest competitors in Poland are Western Union, which has 24 per cent of the market compared with Azimo’s 9 per cent, and PayPal, which had 1.9 per cent of the market, according to Euromonitor.