Ahmedabad-based SME lending startup and Digital Lenders Association of India member Lendingkart Finance has secured $3.8 M (INR 25 Cr) in debt from the State Bank of India according to multiple news sources, just three months after hauling in $10.9M (INR 70 Cr) in funding round led by Sistema Asia Fund which also included past backers Bertelsmann India Investment, Mayfield India and Saama Capital. The latest funding will focus on strengthening Lendingkart’s loan book, expansion of its geographical reach to over 950 cities and to widen Lendingkart Finance’s offering to SMEs across the India.
“We feel extremely privileged to have partnered with India’s largest bank which also shares the same vision of supporting the unbanked SME sector. SBI, being one of the oldest and largest banks, has played a critical role in shaping India’s financial landscape for the last century,” noted Lendingkart Technologies co-founder and CEO Harshvardhan Lunia. “Their rich experience and sound knowledge of the banking industry will enable us to bridge the gap between demand and supply of small business loans in the country. With the funds raised, we will further grow our loan books, expanding our reach to many more underserved SMEs.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”Plans for National Growth @Lendingkart Newest Funding Round Led @TheOfficialSBI @fintechinsider_ @crowdfundinside” quote=”‘We feel extremely privileged to have partnered with SBI, India’s largest bank, which also shares the same vision of supporting the unbanked SME sector,’ noted Lendingkart Technologies co-founder and CEO Harshvardhan Lunia. “]
Founded in 2014 by ex-banker Lunia and former ISRO scientist Mukul Sachan, Lendingkart is an instant working capital finance platform that provides SMEs with easy access to credit and working capital. Aligned with the government’s vision to achieve financial inclusion, the company focuses on providing short-term loans with small-ticket sizes. With offices in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru , Mumbai, Lendingkart has disbursed more than 20,000 loans to over 12,000 SMEs across 23 diverse sectors. The SME lending startup is currently in the process of expanding its operations to over 950 cities across 29 states and seven union territories.
India, a burgeoning emerging market ripe for financial disruption, has experienced a growing number of Fintech firms entering its financial services sector as India pushes into a “less-cash” society, advocated in the Union Budget while creating opportunity for online lenders.
“We resonate the government’s vision of enabling financial inclusion through proliferation of digital literacy in rural India. In this regard, the initiatives announced in terms of bringing in reforms in the digital payment system and introduction of Aadhar Pay app is a welcome move towards empowering the fintech segment, at large,” commented Lunia in an earlier post calling the Union Budget 2017 “progressive” focusing on critical areas of the rural population.