Minko, a fintech platform focused on providing credit facilities to small kirana and retail shop owners, has raised $1.5 million (around Rs 11 crore) in a seed funding round led by LC Nueva AIF, an India domiciled Category II AIF Fund, where LC Nueva Investment Partners LLP is the Investment Manager.
It also saw participation from LetsVenture founder and CEO Shanti Mohan; Cred founder Kunal Shah; Ex-CBO of BharatPe Pratekk Agarwaal; Uni Cards Founder and CEO Nitin Gupta and Ex-MD Twitter and Google (APAC) Parminder Singh.
Chief financial officer (CFO) at Kotak Mahindra Bank Jaimin Bhatt; Mastercard Vice President Shyam Mohan; product manager at Facebook Pay Deepthi Rao; co-founder and CEO at Bounce Vivekananda Hallekere along with AngelList and others took part in the round, the company said in a statement.
Minko will use the raised capital to hire more talent in its tech and sales teams. The funds will also be used to scale to new geographies across India. Minko also announced business to business (B2B) payments stack for distributors which is integrated with its flagship product, Minko Credit.
Founded by Sanket and Sanmati Shendure, Minko began product development in January 2021. The platform aims to save companies in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and pharmaceutical sector, as well as their distributors, money on cash collection and follow-up for payments that are now digital and resolved automatically online.
“The digital payment industry has seen an exponential rise during the pandemic. The growing trust in digital payments has also created an opportunity for us to accelerate the financial inclusion of underserved offline retailers/businesses. We expect demand for our short-term credit product, Minko Credit, to increase manifold as we continue to bridge the largely unmet credit gap of $250 billion for this segment,” Sanket Shendure, co-founder of Minko said.
Currently, Minko claims to have onboarded over 10,000 retailers and distributors in the previous six months. From its present locations in Goa, Maharashtra and Bihar, the company said it plans to expand to other Indian states this year, with over a lakh retailers and distributors on board.
LC Nueva AIF is an India-domiciled category II AIF Fund (Alternative Investment Fund) with an Rs 300 crore corpus to invest in early-stage tech-enabled businesses, managed by LC Nueva Investment Partners LLP. LC Nueva Investment Partners LLP is a joint venture between Lighthouse Canton in Singapore and Nueva Capital in Delhi.
The AIF said it plans to invest in 20-30 firms at the seed, pre-series A and Series A stages throughout its eight-year fund, with an average investment size of Rs 5-15 crores in each portfolio company. Sohil Chand, LC Nueva AIF's founding partner and CIO, Ashish Chand, LC Nueva AIF's founding partner, and Sumegh Bhatia, Managing Director of LC Capital, India, make up the fund's investment committee.