Nineroot Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs a small business-focussed financial technology startup Chqbook.com, has raised $5 million (approximately Rs 36.39 crore at current exchange rates) in its Series A funding from Aavishkaar Capital.
Aavishkaar Capital, which is the venture capital arm of the Aavishkaar Group, is the first institutional firm to invest in the fintech firm, Chqbook.com said in a statement.
The Gurugram-based company said it will use the funds to scale up its distribution across several cities, strengthen its proprietary artificial intelligence-powered platform, and expand its customer base.
Vipul Sharma, co-founder and CEO at Chqbook.com, said the startup was looking to create impact and accelerate the development of underserved segments in the country.
“We are building India’s first marketplace bank and will be the financial control centre for small business owners by offering them massive product choice and superior customer experience,” Sharma said.
Separately, Aavishkaar Capital partner Sushma Kaushik said the firm was confident in its investment because of its cost-effective approach to servicing the small business segment.
The founding team’s understanding of the space and Chqbook.com’s core product and distribution was also a positive factor towards the investment, she added.
Chqbook.com was founded by Sharma, Rajat Kumar, Sachin Arora, and Mohit Goel in 2017. The company says its platform helps small business owners with financial products including credit cards, lending, insurance, accounts, and rewards.
It also allows customers to explore, compare, book and get home loans. It is a marketplace for financial products that bring banks and non-banking financial companies, distributors and customers onto a single platform.
In May last year, reports said that cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle invested an undisclosed amount in the Gurugram-based fintech startup. The startup had previously raised another undisclosed sum from Startup Buddy and some individual investors in October 2017.
The Aavishkaar Group, meanwhile, is one of the world’s largest impact investors. It helps entrepreneurs via equity funding, venture debt, microfinance, investment banking intermediation, consulting, research and access to global networks.
It has raised six funds so far and says it currently has $450 million in assets under management. The group claims its investments have impacted over 105 million lives, and creating over three lakh jobs. Companies in the group’s portfolio include AgroStar, Butterfly Edufields, PayWell, Fabelio, The Karadi Path Education Company, and Soulfull.