Lendingkart raises $30m funding led by Fullerton, Bertelsmann, India Quotient

Photo: Reuters

Digital lender Lendingkart Technologies Private Limited has raised a fresh equity round of ₹212 crore ($30 million) led by existing investors, including Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte Ltd, Bertelsmann India Investments and venture capital firm India Quotient, according to a company statement on Friday.

With this funding round, the total equity raised by Lendingkart stands at $143 million. The funding will be used to expand lending bases, deepen Lendingkart’s reach to small and underserved micro-enterprises and further strengthen its technological and analytics capabilities, the company said in a statement.

Founded by Harshvardhan Lunia and Mukul Sachan in 2014, Lendingkart offers collateral-free working capital and other business loans to small businesses. It also has a non-banking finance unit named Lendingkart Finance, which raises money from financial institutions and banks, and lends it out to customers.

Mint reported in June that the company had begun talks to raise equity capital of around $150 million, for which it has appointed Credit Suisse as an investment banker for the deal.

The company last raised ₹80 crore in debt financing from Alteria Capital in June. The company had also raised ₹565 crore in February last year, led by Singapore’s Temasek-owned Fullerton Financial Holdings. Its other investors include venture capital funds Saama Capital, Bertelsmann India Investment and India Quotient.

The latest fund infusion into Lendingkart comes at a time when non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are reportedly struggling with a credit crunch. The country’s central bank has taken urgent measures to help stressed NBFCs raise capital.

Since its inception in 2014, Lendingkart Finance (the NBFC arm of Lendingkart Group) claims to have disbursed more than 60,000 loans to around 55,000 MSMEs spread across 1,300 cities.

“Micro and small businesses represent a vibrant yet underserved segment of the Indian economy. The support of all of our customers, investors and employees is empowering us to build the leading financial services platform for this segment,” said Harshvardhan Lunia, co-Founder of Lendingkart Technologies in a statement.

“Digital lending is revolutionizing access to capital for MSMEs. With focused efforts of the government and technological advances such as big data, digital lending has set the stage for disruption with greater formalisation, faster capital disbursements and vastly improved customer experience. We are proud to be a part of this incredible journey with Lendingkart as it continues to demonstrate market leadership in this space,” added Pankaj Makkar, managing director, Bertelsmann India, in a statement.

This article was first published on livemint.com