Bengaluru-based digital lending startup ZestMoney has raised $13.4 Mn in extended Series A round of funding led by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Existing investors PayU, Ribbit Capital and Omidyar Network also participated in the round.
The company plans to strengthen its technology and data science capabilities as well as expand use cases for the core ZestMoney Affordability Product.
Founded in 2015 by Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma, and Ashish Anantharaman, ZestMoney enables instant account opening and real-time credit approval, combined with digital loan servicing and repayments technology.
It offers enrollment and real-time approval process, integrated with the ecommerce check-out.
Lizzie Chapman, co-founder, ZestMoney said, “Xiaomi has built one of the most loved brands in India and they have a passionately consumer-focused philosophy which deeply resonated with our values as a company.”
ZestMoney: Lending Made Easy
Earlier in April, it was reported that Xiaomi was in advanced stages to pick up a stake in ZestMoney.
It is to be noted that ZestMoney worked closely with Xiaomi to launch its finance product to enable Mi customers to buy smartphones with a cardless EMI option.
ZestMoney also works with digital consumer partners including Amazon, Flipkart, UpGrad and Zefo.
Chapman reportedly said that the company has plans to expand into travel and healthcare sector as well as create additional flexible credit products to suit each stage of a users’ life.
The company claims to received 300K applications per month and does more than $428.6K (INR 3 Cr) disbursals in a day. It aims to reach a run rate of INR 3,000 Cr disbursals by December 2018.
ZestMoney had recently acquired artificial- intelligence-as-a-service platform PhotographAI for an undisclosed amount. Bengaluru-based PhotographAI offers computer vision tools that can recognise objects in images.
The startup last raised $6.5 Mn funding in February 2017, after a $2 Mn round of seed funding in September 2015.
Xiaomi Exploring Indian Market
Xiaomi had made its first entry in the Indian fintech space after leading $8 Mn funding round in KrazyBee in October 2017. Furthermore, Xiaomi had plans to invest $1 Bn in 100 Indian startups over the next five years.
India, today, is the second biggest market for Xiaomi after China, where Xiaomi is also selling other products such as smartwatches, air purifiers, water purifiers, etc. In February, Xiaomi showcased Mi TV 4, announcing its foray into TV manufacturing in India.
The company recently announced that it has reported a near 152% jump in its yearly revenues from overseas operations in the second quarter ended June to $2.38 Bn (INR 16,693 Cr), partly helped by strong growth in India smartphone sales.
The company had earlier announced that the Indian market contributed 32% of its total global revenue of $18 Bn in 2017, via three of its top-five sales channels.
The Canalys report of Q2 2018 said that even though the difference was small as Xiaomi took 30.4% share in India against 30.2% share of Korean smartphone maker Samsung, which has been the industry leader in India for a long time.
A NASSCOM report has earlier forecasted that the Indian fintech software market will touch $2.4 Bn by 2020, from the current $1.2 Bn.
Overall, as per Inc42 DataLabs Indian Startup Funding report 2017, the Indian fintech industry has received $3.01 Bn across 111 deals in 2017.And the sector continued to lead its growth, as according to Indian Tech Startup Funding Q1 2018 report, fintech as a sector witnessed highest funding.