Bon, an India based Fintech that is providing credit to workers in the gig economy, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding led by Omidyar Network. Other funders in this round include early-stage investment firm Axilor Ventures and Better Capital’s AngelList India Syndicate.
Bon provides financial services to workers, such as taxi and ride-share drivers, goods delivery, and other contractors in India, many of whom are first-time borrowers of formal credit.
Bhasker “Bosky” Kode, founder and CEO of Bon, believes that access to working capital is a serious pain point for the growing gig workforce.
“In India, where credit cards are not pervasive, this issue is even more prominent, as people don’t really have a safety net to rely on when they don’t have cash on hand,” said Kode. “Bon’s mission is to empower these new flexible workers to thrive by providing them an easy money management tool coupled with a credit offering that allows them to keep their business moving no matter what.”
The rise of the mobile internet has fueled the boom in the offering and usage of ride sharing, food delivery, and other hyperlocal digital services.
This creates job opportunities for a large pool of flexible workers but it it also creates a need for new and improved financial services.
Launched last year, Bon has a goal of facilitating short-term credit to meet working capital needs for recurring expenses by these workers—who can now swipe the Bon card at hundreds of thousands of merchant locations around the country.
Today, Bon has issued over 5,000 cards, having processed more than ₹6 crore in transactions and repayments, enabling its users to generate earnings of more than₹10 crore.
Bon has entered into partnerships with leading gig employers and marketplaces, such as Uber, and expanded operations to seven major cities.
“As the next half billion of Indians come online in the coming years, creating growth opportunities for digital businesses and flexible jobs, we expect a huge pool of gig workers to be left behind by traditional financial services providers,” commented Smita Aggarwal, investments director at Omidyar Network. “Bon is addressing the acute need of liquidity by this growing segment of people with an offering that has the flexibility of a credit card coupled with a convenient expense management tool app. By controlling the entire stack, from customer acquisition to repayment facilitation, Bon is helping gig workers to build resilience while nudging them to better financial behaviors.”