Indian Indifi raises $ 21 million to expand online lending platform – TechCrunch
Indifi, a Gurgaon-based startup that provides loans to small and medium-sized businesses and also operates an online lending marketplace, has raised 1,450 million Indian rupees ($ 21 million) in a new round of funding to develop its activities in the country.
The Series C cycle for the four-year startup was led by CDC Group, a UK government-owned venture capital fund. Existing investors Accel, Elevar Equity, Omidyar Networks and Flourish Ventures also participated in the fundraising round, the startup announced Tuesday (India Standard Time).
Indifi, which has raised around $ 34 million in venture capital to date, has also relied on debt to grow and fund loans on its platform. Currently, he has approximately $ 21 million in debt, Indifi co-founder and CEO Alok Mittal told TechCrunch in an interview.
Indifi, which itself finances some loans, also serves as a marketplace for banks and non-bank finance companies to participate in financing loans to small and medium-sized businesses, Mittal said. Both companies are growing equally and contributing to its bottom line, he said.
A typical loan processed by Indifi is around $ 7,000. Overall, the startup offers companies between $ 1,400 and $ 70,000 in capital.
Unlike banks and many other online lenders, Indifi works with a business ecosystem to assess risk factors before giving a loan to a business, Mittal said. For example, Indifi works with food delivery startups Zomato and Swiggy and checks a restaurant’s history and customer reviews before sending them to a restaurant.
Likewise, if a company in the travel industry was looking for a loan, Indifi checks for market volatility. Some of its other business partners include Oyo Rooms, MakeMyTrip, Flipkart, FirstData, Travel Booking, and Riya Travel.
“We chose to invest in Indifi because of its advanced data-driven approach that allows it to achieve [thousands] underserved customers across India. By reducing the high cost of risk assessment and customer acquisition, Indifi helps formal and informal businesses access growth finance that otherwise might not receive it, ”said Srini Nagarajan, Director general manager and responsible for the Asia activities of the CDC group, in a press release.
Despite its longer background check process, Mittal said Indifi has been able to fund almost 50% of all the applications it receives, compared to around 10% of deals with banks and other lenders.
Indifi, which has spent the first and a half years of its existence forging relationships with large companies and refining its products, has amassed more than 15,000 customers to date, Mittal said. His clientele has grown 2.5 times over the past year, he said.
The startup will use the new capital to find new clients and loan partners to expand its market business, Mittal said. It will also explore business loans in more sectors, including logistics (so fleet owners can get loans as well).
Indifi competes with a handful of companies including Zest Money, Five Star Finance, Capital Float, and to some extent Drip Capital, which recently raised $ 25 million.