An operator of online retail investment funds that support fledgling musicians has found a new niche helping small businesses devastated by the March 11 disasters through microfinancing, or small-lot lending that does not require collateral.

Tokyo-based Music Securities Inc. set up new funds in late April to raise capital for small enterprises in the Tohoku region seeking to get back on their feet.

So far, 19 such funds have been launched with total capital needs amounting to ¥570.1 million, with ¥400.89 million put up by 12,100 individuals, Music Securities said.