India: Warburg Pincus in talks to invest in credit platform Capital Float

Global private firm Warburg Pincus LLC is in advanced talks to lead the next round of funding in online credit platform Capital Float, run by Zen Lefin Pvt. Ltd, according to a three people aware of the ongoing discussions.

“Currently, Warburg is looking to invest up to $75 million in Series C funding in Capital Float although the final figure as well as the terms of investment could change as the discussions are yet to conclude,” said one of the three persons, who requested anonymity because the talks are private.

For Warburg Pincus, which also bought close to 65% in Future Capital Holdings (since renamed Capital First), a listed non-banking financial company (NBFC), from Kishore Biyani in 2012, the move to buy a significant stake in Capital Float is part of a strategy to diversify the company’s loan book, the people aware of the matter said.

“Under Future group, Capital First started as a provider of unsecured business loans and loans against property but once Warburg took over, the NBFC has focused more on the retail segment such as consumer durables loans and two wheeler loans,” the second person said.

“Warburg feels that Capital Float will be a good fit to Capital First’s current portfolio,” the second person added.

A Warbug Pincus spokesperson declined to comment.

“We are currently focused on growing the business, and are not actively fund-raising at this time. Our Series B funds raised earlier this year are being deployed in growing loan originations, investing in our technology platform, and expanding our footprint across the country,” Capital Float said in an email response.

Founded in 2013 by Sashank Rishyasringa and Gaurav Hinduja, Capital Float has disbursed loans amounting to over Rs400 crore till date.

It underwrites unsecured loans online to start-ups, business-to-business (B2B) firms, small manufacturers and e-commerce merchants through its own books.

The company has partnered with e-commerce players, mobile wallets, taxi hailing services—including Snapdeal, Shopclues, Paytm and Uber, among others—to offer loans to a large pool of small businesses and merchants who work with these firms.

The latest round of funding comes soon after the company raised $25 million in a series B round in May. The round was led by led by Creation Investments Capital Management LLC, which saw participation from existing investors that include Sequoia, Aspada and SAIF Partners. It was the third round of funding for the company, which has raised $42 million so far. It raised $13 million in Series-A funding in February.

Warburg-controlled Capital First Ltd (CFL) has three main businesses—Capital First Commodities Ltd, Capital First Home Finance Ltd and Capital First Securities Ltd. At the end of FY16, CFL had assets under management (AUM) of Rs16,103 crore.

Also Read: India: Warburg Pincus invests $75m in logistics startup Rivigo

Warburg Pincus partners China’s 21Vianet to establish data centre platform

Warburg Pincus-backed ZTO Express files for US listing to raise $1.5b

This article was first published on Livemint.com

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.