Fintech startup NIRA raises pre-Series A funding
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Shuhari Tech Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which operates the blue- and grey-collar worker-focussed financial technology startup NIRA, has raised $2.1 million (approximately Rs 15.88 crore at current exchange rates) in its pre-Series A funding round.

The company has raised this capital from existing and new angel backers in the UK, Europe and India, NIRA said in a statement without disclosing the identity of the investors.

The Bengaluru-based company will use the funds to acquire talent, enhance its technological and product infrastructure, and scale up its lending volumes.

Set up by Nupur Gupta and Rohit Sen in 2017, NIRA says it focusses on offering small-ticket loans to workers in the blue- and grey-collar segments. The loans of up to one lakh are offered for up to one year through the firm’s app-based credit line.

“In the last 12 months, we have found a good product-market fit, so now we want to build on this strong foundation to scale our business,” Sen said.

Sen is an alumnus of Oxford University and the London School of Economics. Before NIRA, he has worked with major financial services companies including Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Gupta, meanwhile, is an Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi and University of Waterloo graduate and has also worked with Citigroup and Goldman, among others.

NIRA, which began operations in the middle of 2018, says it is now operating across India with thousands of customers from more than 100 cities. According to VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital, the fintech firm raised $1 million (around Rs 7.3 crore) in October 2018 from angel investors in the UK and India.

Deals in the fintech segment

Earlier this month, VCCircle exclusively reported that mobile wallet firm ZipCash had raised its Series A funding round from a mix of domestic and foreign backers.

Also this month, Juspay Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a payments technology firm, raised $21.6 million in its Series B funding round led by a Swedish investor.

In February, DotPe Pvt. Ltd raised $8 million (around Rs 56.8 crore) in its seed funding round led by payments company PayU and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International.

Other early-stage fintech startups that have raised capital in recent months include neo-banking startup EpiFi, informal sector-focused Kaleidofin, and digital banking firm Yelo.

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