Bengaluru-based micro-lending company SmartCoin has raised about $7 million in a fresh funding round led by impact investment fund LGT Lightstone Aspada.
The latest financing for SmartCoin comes almost two years after it raised $2 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by an undisclosed Chinese venture capital firm. Accion Venture Lab, Unicorn India Ventures and ISME ACE, a fintech accelerator in Mumbai, had also participated in the round in March 2018.
The startup plans to use the fresh funding to expand its loan book to Rs 1,500 crore, and user base to 10 million over the next 12 months. It also aims to expand its data science team, advancing its AI/ML-based underwriting platform, and launch new products.
Unitus Capital acted as the financial adviser for the transaction.
Founded in January 2016 by IIT, IIM alumni Rohit Garg, Amit Chandel, Vinay Kumar Singh, and Jayant Upadhyay, SmartCoin offers small-to-mid-sized ticket loans to mobile users after building a SmartCoin credit score, which is backed by data science and machine learning.
“We believe that their AI/ML engine can over a period of time also deliver personalized digital services in areas such as education and healthcare for this segment,” Kartik Srivatsa, Managing Partner, LGT Lightstone Aspada, said.
SmartCoin obtained the non-banking financial company (NBFC) licence last year and has so far issued loans worth Rs 400 crore. It closely competes with the likes of IndiaLends, EarlySalary & Cash Suvidha, according to Owler.
IndiaLends last raised $10 million in a Series B round of funding led by London-headquartered asset management firm ACPI Investment Managers and India-focused venture capital firm Ganesh Ventures in July 2018. The same year, EarlySalary also raised $15.8 million in a funding round led by Eight Roads Ventures India.