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Education-Focused Fintech Startup Propelld Bags $35 Mn Funding From WestBridge Capital, Others

Education-Focused Fintech Startup Propelld Bags $35 Mn Funding From WestBridge Capital, Others

Propelld works with educational institutes to increase learner’s tuition fee affordability by providing customised loan products

Funds from the round will be utilised to further strengthen inhouse tech and collection capabilities, while introducing new financing products and building distribution capabilities across segments

With the current funding round, Propelld plans to grow the loan book rapidly in a segment with low credit penetration

Fintech startup Propelld has raised $35 Mn in Series B funding led by WestBridge Capital along with existing investors Stellaris Venture Partners and India Quotient. 

Founded in 2017 by IIT Madras trio Bibhu Prasad Das, Victor Senapaty and Brijesh Samantaray, Propelld has tie-ups with more than 550 educational institutes and is currently clocking an annual loan disbursal run rate of INR 600 Cr, said the startup.

With the current funding round, Propelld plans to grow the loan book rapidly in a segment with low credit penetration, and offer new products for various verticals within education. 

As per the startup, currently it is 150 people strong and plans to add another 100-150 employees over the next year across technology, business development and collections.

Speaking on the fundraise, Bibhu Prasad Das, cofounder & CEO at Propelld, said, “We would like to thank all our institute and lending partners who have believed in us. With the latest capital infusion we will strive towards building better financial products for the educational ecosystem which will further benefit our partners.”

Further, with sharp focus in the edtech, upskilling, and job-oriented market, Propelld plans to expand its operations in other education segments too.

India spends over $ 90 Bn annually on education, however the financial penetration is still very low. Propelld aims to address this gap and increase education loan accessibility to students through tech based products. We believe Propelld will become the go-to financial player in the Education domain just as we’ve seen strong vertical-focused financial players in other domains like Affordable Housing, SME Lending, Consumer Durables etc. Propelld is already profitable and has consistently maintained excellent credit quality” said Deepak Ramineedi, partner, WestBridge Capital.

We’ve seen Propelld put their heads down and grow sustainably while being very vigilant about lending fundamentals, even during the last couple of Covid-affected years where the broader financial services industry and fintech in general had large disruptions. Their NPA numbers, revenue, and profitability gives us a very strong belief in the fundamentals of the companysaid  Anand Lunia, partner, India Quotient.

Back in 2019, the fintech startup bagged $2 Mn from Stellaris Venture Partners and India Quotient. At that time, as per Inc42 report,  Stellaris Venture Partners had put $928K to acquire 4.8K shares in the fintech startup; while India Quotient made an investment of $638K to buy 3.3K shares.

Fintech has been receiving a lot of attention from the investors community for many reasons. Growing demand for technology-backed services in the financial sector is one of the primary reasons.  

The past year has seen the sector raising $8 Bn ($7.97 Bn, to be precise) across 280 funding deals, a record high in both cases, while the average investment ticket size stood at $33 Mn. 

Our report says, among the fintech subsegments, lending tech and digital payment startups bagged the most capital infusion in 2021. Together, they accumulated 68% of the total funding amount and 44% of the deal count.

India’s overall fintech market opportunity is estimated to be $1.3 Tn by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 31% during 2021-2025. Of this, lending tech is likely to account for 47% ($616 Bn), followed by insurtech at 26% ($339 Bn) and digital payments at 16% ($208 Bn). 

Among these three, insurance tech is the fastest-growing fintech sub-segment in terms of market opportunity, growing at a CAGR of 57%, followed by investment tech (44%) and fintech SaaS (40%).