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HNIs invest in fin-tech startup OpenTap
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Chennai-based fin-tech startup OpenTap has raised more than Rs 3 crore ($450,000) in funding from a clutch of high net-worth individuals, a company statement said.

OpenTap will use the funds to develop its team, to strengthen its technology infrastructure, for marketing, and to widen the reach of its financial services network across the country, the statement added.

Operated by Vyatta Technology Private Limited, OpenTap was founded in 2015 by former investment bankers Senthil Natarajan, Harish Devarajan and Suresh Venkataramani. Prior to co-founding OpenTap, Natarajan worked in Barclays and JP Morgan; Devarajan is the chief executive of Deep Value, a US-based cash equities algorithmic trading desk with offices in Boston, New York, and Chennai; and Venkataramani works at Bank of America.

The startup provides short-term credit and other financial services for the blue collar workforce, whose monthly income is below Rs 25,000. The startup plans to achieve loan book size of Rs 100 crore and add 40,000 customers by the end of calendar year 2018.

OpenTap currently has an active borrower base of over 1,200 individuals and a loan book size of over Rs 3.5 crore and is looking at reaching a loan book size of Rs 5,000 crores by 2022.

“The opportunities for alternate lending in our country are immense and are definitely set to redefine lending services in India. While most of the established financial institutions continue to focus on the higher strata of customer, there is a sizeable opportunity in the mid to lower segment of blue collar workforce who lack the security or the credit scores needed by these institutions to raise a loan in time of need,” co-founder Natarajan said in the statement.

Deals in the space

OpenTap is among a slew of fin-tech startups to have raised funding in recent weeks.

My Finance Care Advisors Pvt. Ltd, which runs online loans marketplace MyLoanCare, on Monday raised Rs 6.5 crore ($978,000) in a Series A round of funding from Ncubate Capital Partners, the venture capital arm of Gurugram-headquartered SAR Group.

Rubique, a Mumbai-based online marketplace for financial products, on Monday raised an undisclosed amount in a round led by Japan’s Recruit Group and Russian venture capital firm Emery Capital.

Last week, Noida-based fin-tech startup PayMe India, which offers loans to salaried employees, received $2 million (Rs 13 crore) in an angel round from a clutch of Singapore-based investors.

Around the same time, Bengaluru-based digital lender Capital Float received $22 million (Rs 144 crore) in equity funding from e-commerce major Amazon India as part of a $45-million Series C round.

Last month, online insurance platform Coverfox completed its $22-million (Rs 144 crore) Series C funding round, which was led by International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank.

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