Digital lender Indifi raises $21 mn from CDC, others
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Gurugram-based fintech startup Indifi Technologies Pvt. Ltd has raised $21 million (Rs 145 crore) in a fresh round of funding led by the UK government-owned development finance institution CDC Group Plc. 

CDC contributed Rs 100 crore while existing investors Omidyar Network, Ontario-based Fair Finance Fund, Accel India and Elevar Equity invested the remaining amount, regulatory filings show.

The development comes weeks after VCCircle first reported that the company was in discussion to raise capital from CDC in a Series C round.

Indifi was founded in 2015 by Alok Mittal, an angel investor and venture capital firm Canaan Partners’ former India chief, along with Siddharth Mahanot and Sundeep Sahi. Mahanot has previously worked with financial services companies such as Citibank and ICICI Bank. Sahi was chief product officer at Bharti SoftBank, a mobile-internet joint venture of Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank, before co-founding Indifi.

The SME-focussed digital lender raised its first round of funding in September 2015. It mopped up about $5 million (Rs 32.6 crore then) from venture capital firm Accel, Elevar Equity and a bunch of individual investors including Genpact founder Pramod Bhasin and Google's Rajan Anandan, according to VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital.

In December 2016, Indifi raised about $10 million (Rs 66.5 crore) in a Series B funding round led by Omidyar Network, an investment firm founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

The online platform connects small businesses with lending institutions. It has tied up with a number of financial institutions such as Edelweiss, India Infoline and Capital First, which provide credit financing to micro, small and medium enterprises.

Indifi says it takes a segment-specific approach and lending products in any given segment are tightly integrated with the business cash flows and transactional linkages in that segment.

It has two businesses – one, a marketplace where other banks and NBFCs can come and lend to the small businesses, and the other, an NBFC that provides loans on its books.

In an April interaction with The Hindu Business Line, Mittal said Indifi provides customised loans between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50 lakh to businesses with an annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 20 crore.

Nearly 80% of its customers are proprietorships, 15% are partnerships and 5% are private limited companies. About 40% customers did not have any prior business loan but might have taken a gold loan while 60% would have borrowed from the informal sector, he had said.

Other digital lenders that run both a marketplace for lending and offer loans from their own balance sheet include Vivriti Capital and Northern Arc Capital Ltd.

How are digital lenders really performing? To get a reality check on the issues and opportunities in the financial services sector, Mosaic Digital, the corporate banner behind VCCircle, is organising the 2019 edition of FinServ Summit on August 28 in Mumbai.

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