Mobile payments startup Ftcash has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture fund 500 Startups and existing investor IvyCap Ventures, it said in a statement.
The Mumbai-based startup, which had raised $150,000 from IvyCap Ventures last year, also counts California-based Tracxn Labs and Singapore Angels among its investors. Ftcash had also been selected by PayPal to join its incubator in Chennai in late 2015.
"We will utilise the capital for developing products in the payments and loan categories, scaling up annual transactions to Rs 1,500 crore and disbursing loans to merchants upwards of Rs 150 crore," the statement said.
The company will also use the funds to expand and to scale up operations in Mumbai, Surat, Jaipur and Pune.
Run by Nomisma Mobile Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Ftcash was founded in 2014 by Sanjeev Chandak, a Wharton Business School alumnus and IIT Kharagpur graduate and former deputy CFO of Deutsche Bank India, and Deepak Kothari, a chartered accountant who has earlier worked with KPMG and Grant Thornton.
Ftcash primarily serves micro-merchants, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), home-based entrepreneurs and mom-and-pop stores by facilitating both payments and loans. It aggregates all payment methods, including credit/debit cards, netbanking, mobile wallets, UPI and PayPal, to create an open platform for merchants. The company also allows merchants to repay loans directly through the platform.
Recently, the startup announced that it had struck partnerships with over 15 non-banking financial companies to provide working capital loans to its merchant partners. It offers an interest rate of 18-30% per annum and the ticket size of its loans is Rs 25,000 to Rs 5 lakh. Ftcash claims to have catered to over 20,000 merchants on its platform, and says it has already lent around Rs 2 crore to 150 merchants under a pilot.
Of late, the fin-tech space has been the darling of investors, who are writing cheques generously to place their bets on the sunshine sector.
A recent VCCircle analysis showed that since the beginning of the year, at least 25 fin-tech startups have raised venture funding. The inflows have been well-distributed across the broader fintech space—while digital wallet firm Paytm may have got the biggest slice of the funding pie, raising a whopping $1.4 billion from SoftBank, online lending and payment gateway startups also elicited considerable interest from investors.