BharatPe raises Rs 100 cr from MAS Financial in eighth debt financing in 2021
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Fintech company BharatPe has raised Rs 100 crore ($14 million) in debt from non-banking financial company MAS Financial Services Pvt Ltd, its eighth round of debt fund raise till date in 2021.

BharatPe, operated by Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd,  has raised a total of over Rs 600 crore (about $84 million) in debt "at competitive rates, this calendar year", the company said in a statement on Monday.

BharatPe added that it is bullish about its lending vertical, having clocked 10x growth in the last financial year. The company claims to have facilitated disbursals in excess of $400 million in unsecured loans to over 3 lac merchants since the launch of the product.

BharatPe had previously raised seven rounds of debt financing in 2021, having secured over Rs 500 crore from top venture debt funds (Alteria Capital, InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital), banks (ICICI Bank and Axis Bank), NBFCs (Northern Arc Capital) and wealth management companies (IIFL Wealth & Asset Management).

The company said it is on track to meet its debt raise targets for financial year 2022.

Suhail Sameer, chief executive officer, BharatPe said that its recent debt raises will give the raw material to the company to build its merchant lending vertical more aggressively.

"As per industry reports, there is close to $400 bn addressable SME lending opportunity in India. BharatPe is committed to address this credit gap for small merchants and kirana store owners in India with its compelling lending products for offline merchants," he added.

Nishit Sharma, chief revenue officer, BharatPe, said that in the coming months the company will not only focus on expanding its geographical coverage in India, but also launch a range of innovative lending products for merchants.

We are on track to build a loan book of $1 billion by March 2023 for our lending partners," added Sharma.

Founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018, the fintech firm operates UPI QR code-based payment acceptance for small and medium businesses. The company has also launched BharatSwipe, a payment acceptance terminal.

The fintech firm has attracted a slew of equity funding since its launch. Earlier in August, the company entered the unicorn club of startups after it raised $370 million (about Rs 2742.56 crore) to fuel its digital bank ambitions at $2.85 billion valuation. Unicorns are private companies that raise funding at over $1 billion valuation.

Earlier this month, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a small finance bank (SFB) licence to the consortium of Centrum Financial Services Limited (Centrum), the small business lending arm of the Centrum Group, and BharatPe.

Earlier this week, Flipkart-owned PhonePe took BharatPe to court over the use of the ‘Pe’ suffix for the latter’s newly launched ‘buy now pay later’ product, ‘PostPe’.

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