Mumbai-based Unicorn India Ventures, a SEBI registered AIF-I VC fund has invested an undisclosed amount in Bengaluru-based SmartCoin. Unicorn has led the round with participation from a clutch of angel investors.
It is a mobile app-based lending platform that claims to assess the risk profile of a prospective borrower in real-time, by using data science and machine learning algorithms.
Rohit Garg, co-founder and CEO, SmartCoin says, “Traditional underwriting methods are largely reliant on credit histories and, thus, unable to serve people with limited credit data. As a result, there is a huge underserved segment spanning not just the corporate workforce, but also the emerging aspirational class working in semi-white collar and blue-collar jobs. We believe credit should be accessible to everyone, and the process should be as simple as online shopping or cab booking.”
The startup will use the newly raised funding to expand its product portfolio and reach out to newer customer segments, upgrade technology platform, scale its operations. Currently, SmartCoin is run by the four co-founders. However, with the freshly infused funds, the founders plan to expand the team and make key level hires across various functions.
SmartCoin’s proprietary credit underwriting engine aggregates thousands of data points on a customer’s smartphone, including financial transactions, device usage and app behaviour, to build a customised credit score.
A customer is instantly offered personalised loan products on the basis of his risk and capacity, and the money is transferred digitally to the bank account. A user needs a bank account, Aadhaar card and social media presence to avail a loan.
Archana Priyadarshini, Venture Partner with Unicorn India Ventures said, “The idea behind SmartCoin is new age. The technology has been designed keeping the end customer at the heart of it, thus ensuring convenience in filling in their information and offering them a loan product suited to their needs. The concept of app-based microlending has proven successful in several other emerging markets and we see a huge potential in such a business model for India.” With this move, she will be joining the board of SmartCoin and will be working closely with the team to scale up their business.
As per a company statement, since their launch last quarter, SmartCoin has disbursed more than 3,000 loans and is growing over 50% M-o-M. The startup aims to disburse 50,000 loans by the end of the next financial year. To this end, the startup is partnering with leading NBFCs and microfinance companies, who are looking to leverage their technology to expand their customer base.
Earlier this month, Delhi-based RedCarpet, a student microlending startup raised $2.5 Mn funding in a round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other startups in this segment include Buddy, KrazyBee, Onemi, Finomena, Quicklo, among others.