Niro, a Bengaluru-based fintech startup, has raised $3.5 Mn in a seed funding round led by Elevar Equity. Kunal Shah (CRED), Nitin Gupta (Uni), Bala Parthasarathy (Freo), the Patni Family Office, R. Ramaraj also participated in the round.
Founded in 2021 by Aditya Kumar and Sankalp Mathur, Niro provides embedded consumer lending solutions. The startup enables consumer businesses to introduce credit products by embedding Niro’s platform on their product or service.
“The embedded finance opportunity is growing exponentially, and at Niro, we see this as an opportunity to redefine distribution for financial services entirely. In parallel, this creates an entirely new role for consumer internet companies to become financial services players in the lives of consumers,” said Sankalp Mathur, cofounder and chief risk officer, in a statement.
The startup differentiates itself from other embedded fintech companies that operate on a ‘buy now, pay later’ model like Simpl and LazyPay.
When asked about the comparison, Aditya Kumar, cofounder and CEO of the company, said, “BNPL players typically work to help platforms facilitate commerce by making their products more affordable.”
“Niro transforms consumer internet platforms into fintechs, enabling them to generate engagement and revenue with their customers by offering competitive and frictionless credit products,” Kumar added.
Kumar’s previous startup Qbera — a full stack platform for personal loans — was acquired by InCred. Before the acquisition, Qbera had raised $6 Mn in funding.
With the changing face of the Indian ecommerce market, the BNPL phenomenon has been gathering momentum in the country. A large number of consumer internet companies have introduced BNPL or other similar lending products on their platform, irrespective of whether they are a D2C product brand or a platform like Dunzo, Zomato or Swiggy.
During the 2021 festive sales, Amazon witnessed a 10x surge in Amazon Pay Later compared to non-festive season purchases. Walmart-owned Flipkart said that BNPL accounts for the second-highest share of payments after paid orders and has surpassed UPI for its platform. Flipkart too witnessed a 10x jump in BNPL sign-ups since October 03.
Last month, payment deferment lending tech startup ePayLater raised $10 Mn from a group of investors to enhance its product suite and reach more retailers.
The global digital lending market was valued at $311.06 Bn in 2020, and is expected to grow to $587.27 Bn in 2026 while registering a CAGR of 11.9%.