Fintech startup Lendingkart Technologies Pvt. Ltd has acquired retail lender Upwards Fintech to offer personal loans to small businesses.
The deal, a mix of cash and equity, valued Upwards at ₹100-120 crore and gave exits to some of its existing investors such as Shunwei Capital, said Harshvardhan Lunia, founder and chief executive, Lendingkart.
The Mumbai-based firm had earlier raised capital from Shunwei Capital, India Quotient and Mayfield Fund.
Founded in 2017, Upwards offers personal loans to salaried professionals and gives facilities such as automated loan underwriting and disbursement to reduce the loan processing time to a few hours.
The company, with nearly 70 employees, has disbursed loans above ₹500 crore till date. It claims to be operating in over 200 cities in India and aims to expand its footprint under Lendingkart.
“Post-acquisition, Upwards will continue to work separately. The buyout will help Lendingkart provide access to capital to the blue-collared workforce employed with micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as to those individuals who are just starting their businesses,” Lunia said.
“Upwards has the best-in-class lending capabilities for its target marketplace in providing personal loans. With this partnership, Upwards will be aptly positioned to execute its strategy of helping customers smoothly obtain personal loans,” he added.
Founded by Lunia in 2014, Lendingkart provides capital to SMEs, and competes with the likes of Aye Finance, Clix Capital, NeoGrowth, and FlexiLoans. The company also runs four algorithm-driven platforms—2gthr, Cred8, Xlr8 and Collec10—aimed at enhancing the lending capabilities of banks and other lenders. In turn, they help the company mitigate the risks involved in lending. Lunia said the company will look to acquire more algorithm-driven platforms complimenting its businesses.
The firm is backed by Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte Ltd, Bertelsmann India Investments, Sistema Asia Fund and IndiaQuotient, and has raised about Rs 1050 crore in equity to date.
Lendingkart had posted a revenue of Rs 616 crore last fiscal. It is looking to end FY23 with revenue of more than Rs 800 crore.
The company has disbursed loans worth more than Rs 11,500 crore. “We will close this year at a book size of Rs 5000 crore. We aim to close FY24 and FY25 at around Rs 7,500 crore and Rs 11,000 crore, respectively. That’s more than a 2x growth in 2-3 years,“ Lunia said in an earlier interview.