India: Student microlending startup Buddy raises $500k from Blume, Tracxn Labs, others

Team Buddy

Bangalore-based student microlending startup, Buddy, has raised a Pre Series-A funding round of $500,000 from Blume Ventures, TracxnLabs and angel investors.

Buddy plans to use the latest round of funding to expand its credit risk and technology team so as to build necessary infrastructure to support its growth. It also aims to build a stronger presence in colleges through offline marketing channels, which will enable Buddy to capture a major proportion of the online spending of students.

According to a company release, it is already in talks to raise Series A funding to scale up operations, and work on upcoming product features.

Buddy enables college students to buy e-commerce products via short- and long-term payment plans. It has partnerships with e-commerce players including Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. Students can choose the length of the plan, ranging from 3 months to 18 months, and the interest rates vary accordingly.

Students need to submit their ‘Student ID’ and phone numbers of a classmate as well as one of their parents to apply for Buddy. Borrowers who miss deadlines will receive messages from Buddy’s risk-management team.

“Educating students to a loan product and inculcating the responsibility of repayment is a huge game changer that Buddy is creating. We believe that Buddy has the potential to create a meaningful and trustworthy student rating system that will have far reaching consequences.” says Adit Parekh, Principal, Blume Ventures.

Buddy, which started operations in January, claims to have presence across over 100 colleges in Bangalore, and 5,000 active students on its platform over the last six weeks of operations.  Buddy also has a mobile app, which provides students with an added mode of interaction.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.