SAIF Partners leads seed funding round in fintech startup Finwego
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Education-focussed financial-technology startup Finwego has raised $1.7 million (Rs 11.83 crore at current exchange rates) in a seed funding round led by venture capital firm SAIF Partners.

A clutch of high net-worth individuals (HNIs) and angel investors also participated in the round, a statement said.

Finwego, operated by Meitrail Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, said it will use the funding for its expansion as well as strengthening its technological and data infrastructure. It also plans to apply for a non-banking financial company licence.

Finwego co-founder and chief executive officer Shiv Vadivelalagan said the company was looking to reach out to more than 10,000 schools over five years and gain a pan-India presence. “With the infusion of new funds, we are looking to build a high-caliber team and digital infrastructure to support our robust growth plans,” he added.

The startup was founded last year by Vadivelalagan and Pavee Ramanisankar, and incubated at the Harvard Innovation Lab. It provides loan products across the school ecosystem, from personal loans for teachers to fee loans for parents and expansion capital for schools themselves.

According to its website, the Chennai-based company claims to have partnered with at least 150 schools and reached more than 4,000 teachers and 75,000 students.

SAIF Partners

The multi-stage investor has been active in India for more than a decade and has backed firms including the publicly listed MakeMyTrip Ltd and Just Dial Ltd, and One97 Communications Ltd-owned Paytm.

In May, it led a $13.2 million Series A funding round in pre-owned cars platform Spinny. The startup, which is operated by ValueDrive Technologies Pvt. Ltd, said it would use part of the fresh capital to expand its presence in Bengaluru.

The same month, it also pumped in $1.5 million in Airblack Technologies Pvt. Ltd as part of the social-travel commerce startup's seed round of funding. The startup was set up in February by Pulkit Pujara and Videt Jaiswal, who are former members of SAIF’s own investment team.

SAIF Partners had raised $350 million for a new fund in July 2017. It is the firm’s third India-focussed vehicle and its size is almost the same as its previous two India funds.

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