Sequoia and Tiger Global-backed fintech unicorn BharatPe has completed its acquisition of 51% stake in Mumbai-based non-bank lender Trillion Loans.
Trillion Loans offers secured and unsecured loans to small businesses and credit products such as auto, gold and education loans to retail customers.
“Providing access to credit to our merchant partners is key to our business model and this acquisition will further propel our growth and accelerate our journey to profitability. Acquiring controlling stake in Trillion Loans is aligned to the BharatPe Group’s larger purpose and will enable us to facilitate access to capital to a wider set of underserved and unbanked businesses as well as customers,” BharatPe founder and chief operating officer (COO) Shashvat Nakrani said.
The financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
Trillion Loans will operate as an independent entity with its own team under the supervision of the board. Meanwhile, BharatPe said that Ravindra Pandey (retired SBI banker and adviser to the Board of BharatPe) will take charge as the non-executive chairman of Trillionloans Fintech Pvt. Ltd. Nalin Negi (CFO and interim CEO of BharatPe) and Sabyasachi Senapati (head of BharatPe’s banking vertical) have also been appointed on the board of Trillion Loans.
BharatPe has also infused a substantial amount of investment into Trillion Loans to grow the latter’s loan book, the company said without revealing the exact quantum.
“The deal was completed in the month of April. This acquisition is in-line with BharatPe Group’s vision to be at the forefront of addressing the credit gap for millions of businesses and consumers in the country,” BharatPe said.
The Gurugram-based fintech unicorn joins the league of well-funded peers including Cred and LendingKart in growing their credit businesses. Several of these big fintech players have been acquiring smaller NBFCs after the Reserve Bank of India made it harder for fintech players to facilitate digital loans without an NBFC licence.
IPO-bound BharatPe further said it will explore partnerships with other fintech firms and other companies to enable credit across a diverse set of businesses and consumers.
Nakrani added that Trillion Loans will work independently and will be a technology driven NBFC. It will be open to partner with other fintechs and startups, to offer their customers a quick and streamlined experience. BharatPe values its existing partnerships with NBFCs, and financial institutions and this acquisition will have no impact on these relationships.
“We launched our merchant lending vertical in 2019 and it has grown exponentially over the course of the last three years. Today, we facilitate loans of over Rs 500 crore every month to our merchant partners,” he added.
Founded in 2018, BharatPe began by launching the first interoperable UPI code and now also offers card acceptance terminal – BharatSwipe. It serves more than 1 crore merchants across 400+ cities and has facilitated the disbursement of loans totaling close to Rs 8000 crore. The fintech player also entered the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) segment with the launch of postpe in October 2021. In the same month, BharatPe consortium with Centrum Financial Services also received a license from the Reserve Bank of India to run a Small Finance Bank (SFB).
In June that year, BharatPe had announced the acquisition of multi-brand loyalty program Payback India. In FY22, BharatPe’s revenue from operations more than trebled to Rs 457 crore, while its net loss widened 3.5 times to Rs 5,610 crore.
Till date, BharatPe, valued at around $3 billion, has raised over $583 million in equity backed by marquee investors such as Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadfast Capital, Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo, and Sequoia Capital.