Chennai VC firm, JITO Angel Network invest in consumer lending startup HappyEMI
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Consumer lending platform HappyEMI, owned by Hyperkonnect Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has raised $1 million (Rs 6.86 crore) from Chennai-headquartered early-stage venture firm AJ Ventures and Investments and the angel network of Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO), a report in a financial daily said.

The company will utilise the funds to increase its geographical footprint and to expand its merchant network to source more loans, The Economic Times reported. The Bengaluru-headquartered company will also start financing across sectors such as education and healthcare services, the report added.

The year-old company, founded by serial entrepreneur and Globals Inc. chief executive Suhas Gopinath, provides financing options to consumers shopping online and in stores at point-of-sale. It relies on data beyond CIBIL scores to underwrite risk for buyers.

HappyEMI charges a 2% commission from the retail partners it works with for each transaction. At present, it has furniture, electronics and fashion retailers on its network. The services of HappyEMI compete directly with banks and financial service providers such as Bajaj Finserv, which offer no-cost EMIs on online retail platforms like Flipkart and Amazon India.

Deals in the space

In 2017, funding into India's fin-tech sector increased four times touching $1.84 billion from $447 million in 2016, data from VCCEdge, the research arm of News Corp VCCircle, showed.

The trend seems to be continuing in 2018 as well as the segment has attracted considerable investor interest in the past few months.

Last month, a number of online lending platforms secured funding, including Mumbai-based Paysense Services India Pvt. Ltd, which raised $18 million (Rs 123.88 crore) in a Series B funding round led by Naspers-owned PayU.

OfBusiness, which lends to small and medium businesses, secured $29 million (Rs 200 crore) in a Series C round of funding led by US-based Impact investment firm Creation Investments and hedge fund Falcon Edge.

Chinese venture capital firm Shunwei Capital led a $6.25-million (around Rs 42.8 crore) round into Mumbai-based LoanTap Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a digital platform that offers loans and overdraft products to salaried professionals.

Last month, VCCircle reported that online lending marketplace IndiaLends was in the process of raising Rs 63.9 crore (around $9.3 million at current exchange rates) from existing investors DSG Consumer Partners, American Express Ventures and Chinese investment firm Cyber Carrier VC.

In May this year, Pune-based online lender EarlySalary had acquired CashCare which provides ‘checkout finance’ for online shoppers in May.

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