Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal has acquired Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Pvt. Ltd, striking his biggest deal since quitting the e-commerce company last year.
Bansal will invest Rs 739 crore (about $104 million) in Chaitanya Rural and take charge as its CEO, the non-banking financial company said in a statement.
Company co-founders Anand Rao and Samit Shetty will continue to help grow the business and there will be no significant change in management, the statement said.
“This acquisition is our entry into financial services,” Bansal said.
Bansal had left Flipkart after selling his stake to Walmart Inc. for more than $1 billion in May 2018. Since then, he has made debt investments in several companies, mainly in the financial services and fintech segments.
In June, VCCircle exclusively reported that Bansal made a significant debt investment through his company BAC Acquisitions Pvt. Ltd in an NBFC looking to go public. In July, Bansal made a debt investment of Rs 50 crore (around $7.3 million) in consumer lending startup Kissht. That month, he also made a similar investment in the NBFC arm of a financial technology startup.
According to a February report by Mint, he has also invested Rs 250 crore each via debt in Altico Capital India Ltd. and IndoStar Capital Finance Ltd.
Bansal has also bet on ride-hailing company Ola, investing Rs 650 crore earlier this year.
Chaitanya Rural was founded in 2012 and operates in five states – Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The company aims to provide financial services to under-banked sections of the Indian population, according to its website.
The NBFC’s primary business is microfinance, though it also provides loans for two-wheelers, housing, small business and education.
“Samit and Anand have built a great company that provides much needed financial access to people who don’t have access to other formal finance,” Bansal said.
Rao and Shetty said Bansal taking over as the CEO would help the company understand and leverage the technology behind improving access to financial services and financial inclusion.