Indian financial services company BharatPe has raised INR 50 Cr in debt from Northern Arc Capital, a leading digital debt finance platform that is focused on improving access to finance for under-served businesses and individuals in India.
This is the sixth round of debt financing for BharatPe this year. In January, the company had raised INR 200 Cr from three top debt companies in the country, Alteria Capital, InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital. Later, it raised more capital from ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.
BharatPe was founded in 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani. It is primarily a merchant-focused payments platform that offers a single interface for all existing UPI apps and other payments systems. In 2019, the company branched out into lending and other verticals.
The company claims that through 2020-21, it has emerged as one of the largest B2B fintech lenders in India, having disbursed loans worth INR 1,600 Cr to more than 2 lakh merchants since it launched its lending business. The company aims to disburse INR 14,000 Cr in business loans by March 2023.
“We have considerably ramped up our lending business in the last year and have set an ambitious target of facilitating disbursals to the tune of $ Bn to over 10 lakh merchants by the end of current fiscal (FY22),” said Suhail Sameer, group president at BharatPe.
“As we aggressively build this vertical and roll out products in the secured lending space, we will continue to partner with institutional debt providers to help empower millions of small merchants in India,” he added.
According to data on Crunchbase, before the recent funding, BharatPe had raised $283.5 Mn in six funding rounds from 16 investors. Its last funding round was in February, a Series D round worth $108 Mn led by Coatue. The round had valued BharatPe at $900 Mn.
India is home to approximately 1,263 digital lending startups, out of which over 147 (12% of the total 1,263) are backed by venture capital funding. With venture capital inflow in B2B lending startups growing at CAGR (2015-2019) of 72%, it remains the most favoured sub-segment within the lending tech segment.
BharatPe competes with several other startups in the space, such as LendingKart, Shubh Loans, MoneyTap and FlexiLoans.