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Lending Tech Startup ePayLater Raises INR 18 Cr From Pravega Ventures, Others

Lending Tech Startup ePayLater Raises INR 18 Cr From Pravega Ventures, Others

It will use the funds to make further inroads in the B2B and SME lending market

ePayLater claims that post-Covid delinquency rates for repayments have fallen to a record low

The company had last raised a pre-Series A funding round led by ICICI Bank in January 2019

Lending tech startup ePayLater has raised INR 18 Cr from Pravega Ventures and from internal investors. The Mumbai-headquartered company will use the funds to make further inroads in the B2B and SME lending market, with a focus on the retail segment.

The startup, which offers buy now pay later (BNPL) products for consumers and lending products for businesses, claims to have disbursed close to 670 Cr in the last three years in the food and groceries retail segment alone. ePayLater also claimed that post-Covid delinquency rates for repayments have fallen to a record low, as many sectors take slow steps towards recovery.

Founded in 2015 by Aurko Bhattacharya, Prasannaa Muralidharan, Uday Somayajula, Shanmuhanathan Thiagaraja, and Akshat Saxena, the company claims to have clients such as Walmart (Flipkart), Metro Cash and Carry among others in the B2B market. Besides this it offers 14-day interest free loans to consumers for ecommerce and other online purchases.

Prior to this round, ePayLater had raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round led by ICICI Bank in January 2019, with participation from GMO Global Fintech Fund, the investment fund of Japanese internet conglomerate GMO Venture Partners. The company had earlier raised $2 Mn (INR 14.09 Cr) during its seed funding round.

However, ePayLater’s website currently says, “Due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation, ePayLater services are currently restricted for all the customers and transactions will not go through. We will update you as soon as we enable our services.”

We reached out to ePayLater to understand what that means for potential customers.

A company spokesperson told us, “The company has two lines of businesses – B2C and B2B. The company has stopped offering loans on the B2C line of business temporarily while it continues to serve the B2B segment. The company has been experiencing a massive surge in demand for its B2B product.”

We were told that currently the company has put up a message on the website to dissuade new B2C customers from signing up on the website. Existing B2C customers can login and check their statements and more, while the company is accepting signups for small businesses
“The company continues to work towards bringing simplicity and transparency in the payment and credit systems in the unorganised retail segment esp for the small business owners/ proprietors. The Company is keeping a close watch on credit behavior post moratorium, and expects to resume B2C business in FY22,” the ePayLater spokesperson added.

In recent times, the Indian market has witnessed an exponential surge in demand for short-term loans related to purchases and spending. In addition to traditional credit cards, the demand for sachet credit products such as BNPL and ‘advance salary’ or payday loans is also increasing.

Posting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36%, India’s BNPL sector is expected to reach $100 Bn by the end of 2023, as per Medici Research. Within the BNPL niche, ePayLater competes with the likes of Simpl, Zestmoney, Paytm Postpaid, PayU’s LazyPay, Amazon Pay, Flipkart Pay Later among others.

Update Note:

February 13, 2020 | 10:30 AM

We received ePayLater’s statements on message on its website about its current restrictions on signing up new customers. The article has been updated to reflect the same.

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