Digital credit solutions provider, ePayLater, has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round led by ICICI Bank. It also saw participation from GMO Global Fintech Fund, the investment fund of the internet conglomerate GMO Venture Partners in Japan along with family offices such as Parekh and Patni and foreign investors from the UK.
With this capital infusion, ePayLater is looking to ramp up its technology architecture as well as strengthen its product. The company had earlier raised $2 Mn (INR 14.09 Cr) during its angel round of funding.
Founded in 2015 by Aurko Bhattacharya, Prasannaa Muralidharan, Uday Somayajula, Shanmuhanathan Thiagaraja, and Akshat Saxena, ePaylater is a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ payment solution through which customers can instantly get access to credit to make faster online/offline purchases.
Once signed up, a customer can avail a credit of up to INR 20K ($284). A 14-day interest-free period is provided from the date of purchase to settle the payment.
Currently, ePayLater has over 3,000 merchants on-board including IRCTC, PVR, Croma, Box8, Travelyaari, Ticketnew. One can also use it to transact with merchants that accept UPI. Currently, ePayLater UPI can be used on Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra and Uber among others.
The platform claims to use advanced machine learning techniques to do a real-time credit assessment using data such as buying patterns, digital footprints, social media information, and device information. The user is then provided with a credit limit, and can actively use this credit amount to pay for products and services online.
According to the cofounders of ePayLater, credit at the point of sale is a need of millions of customers across the country. “With this investment, we further look to scale faster and fulfill our vision with greater agility.”
Buy now, pay later as an option has been quite popular with the price-sensitive Indian audience. LazyPay offered by PayU is another notable option. Here, users can avail small ticket credit up to INR 30,000 ($425.75) for 15 days. As shared by the company in a recent email interaction with Inc42, LazyPay boasts of a network of 100+ merchants and its app has crossed 1 Mn downloads during 2018.
Currently, LazyPay claims to facilitate more than 1 Mn transactions per month with clients like Swiggy, Samsung, Croma Oyo, ixigo, Airtel, Bookmyshow among others. In August 2018, LazyPay also started offering personal loans on merchant checkout. The platform now receives around 8,000 – 9,000 applications per day for personal loans and has already disbursed about 6,000 loans to its consumers.
According to research company Statista, in August 2018, there were 805.52 Mn ATM transactions and 357.17 Mn point-of-sale transactions made via debit cards in India. Further, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in June 2018, the number of debit cards increased to 944.3 Mn with 19.2 Mn new cardholders. Also, a total of 39.37 Mn credit cards were in operation, with the addition of 0.76 Mn cards.
Though the statistics depict a picture of growth, there have been reports suggesting that less than half of debit/credit card holders were found to be active as of July 2018.
This opens sufficient opportunity for the Indian fintech players offering buy now, pay later solutions to the consumer. Other notable players in this segment are Bill Me Later (acquired by Pay Pal), Simpl, Slice Pay. Also, ecommerce companies such as BigBasket and Flipkart, which have been testing waters in this segment.