China’s Fosun, others back online loan facilitator PerkFinance
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Bengaluru-based online platform PerkFinance, which facilitates loans through its lending partners to blue-collar workers, has raised $900,000 (Rs 6.5 crore at current exchange rate) in a seed round from China’s Fosun RZ Capital and angel investors Eric Bunting, Krishna Vinjamuri and Karan Virwani.  

PerkFinance, owned by Stay Qurious Ventures Pvt. Ltd, said in a press note that the investment will be used to boost its technology and marketing.

Fosun RZ Capital is an affiliate of Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group. Bunting, founder of private equity firm Overbrook Capital, has invested in more than 26 fin-tech startups around the world including Kabbage, Funding Circle and Yapstone. Vinjamuri is an angel investor and was a venture capitalist with investment firms Lightbox Ventures and Sherpalo Ventures. Virwani is the chief executive of co-working space provider WeWork India.

At PerkFinance, borrowers can customise the amount (Rs 5,000 to Rs 1 lakh) and tenure (3 to 12 months) of the loan, the company said.

Vikas Kothari, Yogesh Keswani and Vivek Kandkur are the founders of PerkFinance. Kothari was a venture capitalist at Lightbox Ventures and is an Oxford Said Business School alumnus. Keswani is an IIT-Kanpur and Oxford Said Business School alumnus and has worked at Lehman Brothers, Nomura and Hitachi. Kandkur has been a part of two technology startups in the last three years.

“For a long time, blue-collar workers have struggled with exorbitant interest rates. This needs to change and Perk (Finance) is doing exactly that,” said Tej Kapoor, managing director and head of Fosun RZ Capital India, in a statement.

Fosun RZ Capital has investments in China, the US, and India, with offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Silicon Valley, New Delhi and Bengaluru. It invests at angel, venture capital and growth stages, with a focus on internet technologies in finance, consumer, and business services. Current investments in India include startups such as Kissht, Dehlivery and Ixigo.

Fin-tech startups facilitating loans to salaried people are attracting investors.

In April, Noida-based fin-tech startup PayMe India, which offers loans to salaried people, had raised $2 million (Rs 13 crore then) in an angel round of funding from a bunch of Singapore-based angel investors.

In January, Pune-based Social Worth Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs online lending platform EarlySalary, had raised Rs 100 crore ($15.7 million then) in a Series B funding round led by Eight Roads Ventures India.

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