A loan startup from India attracts US$30 million in rounds of Series B
The company from Mumbai SMEcorner started its operations in 2014 with simple financial lending and store owner services in India.
Founded by Bhatia and Sneha Shah, it has evolved into a high-tech start-up that now loans to large and medium-sized enterprises.
As part of the Series B round managed by Paragon Partners, a private equity firm, SMEcorner was able to raise US $30 million in financing. The round was also attended by existing investors such as Quona Capital, Accion Venture Lab and the founder of SMEcorner, Samir Bhatia, who also runs the company as its CEO.
The startup has already made a positive impact on the market with more than 8,000 unique customers served, in 2018 it obtained a license from NBFC (a non-banking financial company), which allowed it to expand its geography to 15 cities in India, and the total assets managed by SMEcorner is about US $55 million.
The funds received represent a combination of equity and debt. Of the total amount raised, US $10.5 million was received from Paragon Partners, with the rest coming from other investors. The new financial assets will be used to expand the business and achieve its desired goal of providing a US $138.3 million loan by the end of 2021.
"The additional capital will enable us to reach over 20,000 new customers and grow our distribution in the coming year," Bhatia said in a statement. "We will continue to focus on building proprietary technology which will help us serve our customers more efficiently."
In recent years, lending to small and medium-sized businesses in India has started its active development and aims to reach the level of leading countries. Many companies are entering into partnerships and expanding their own areas of activity. In this environment, "SMEcorner's high tech and touch model makes it uniquely positioned to facilitate lending to the highly underpenetrated micro and small enterprise segment," Siddharth Parekh, co-founder and senior partner, Paragon Partners, said in a statement.
"The asset-light model powered by several co-lending partnerships makes the business resilient from liquidity challenges and a highly granular loan book makes it resistant to any lumpy asset quality issues."