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Fin-tech startup Ftcash raises Series A funding
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Mumbai-based Nomisma Mobile Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which owns digital payments and loans platform Ftcash, said on Friday it has raised Rs 50 crore ($7.1 million) in a Series A round of funding led by US non-profit firm Accion International and Dutch development bank FMO.

Previous investor IvyCap Ventures also participated in the funding round, said Ftcash in a statement.

News of the development comes a day after a person in the know told VCCircle that FMO has committed an undisclosed amount to Ftcash.This is the second fin-tech bet by FMO in India. In 2013, it backed Mumbai-based Electronic Payment and Services Pvt. Ltd.

Ftcash will use the funds for expansion into new geographies and product development.

Ftcash, which was incubated by online payments company PayPal Holdings Inc., primarily serves micro-merchants, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), home-based entrepreneurs and mom-and-pop stores by facilitating both payments and loans. To create an open platform for merchants, Ftcash aggregates payment methods including credit and debit cards, netbanking, mobile wallets, state-backed payments system Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayPal. The company also allows merchants to repay loans directly through the platform.

Sanjeev Chandak, co-founder and chief executive, Ftcash, said, "By using transaction data for credit assessment and leveraging repayments from the Ftcash payments platform, Ftcash is pioneering a model that can reach 60 plus million micro-merchants in India, 96% of whom have been underserved by banks and traditional finance companies."

Ftcash was co-founded in 2015 by Chandak, Wharton Business School alumnus, IIT-Kharagpur graduate and former deputy finance chief of Deutsche Bank India; Deepak Kothari, a chartered accountant who has worked with KPMG and Grant Thornton; and Vaibhav Lodha, who has earlier worked with Lodha Group and Xprize.

In 2017, Ftcash raised its pre-Series A round of undisclosed funding from Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture fund 500 Startups and previous investor IvyCap Ventures.

Investors

Accion has been present in India since 2005. Its portfolio companies in the country include Hyderabad-based fintech startup CredRight and Chennai-based online credit management startup CreditMantri. 

Earlier this year, Accion's seed-stage social-impact investor arm Accion Venture Lab exited its four-year investment in non-banking financial company (NBFC) Aye Finance.

Dutch investor FMO has a committed portfolio of 9.2 billion euros in 85 countries. It finances projects in sectors such as agri-business, food and water, energy and financial institutions in under-served regions.

The development financial institution is an active investor in India. Earlier this week, it led a Series A round in InCred Financial Services Ltd. News of the development came more than two months after VCCircle first reported that FMO had committed Rs 256 crore (around $36 million then) to the NBFC, which is backed by private equity firms and former Deutsche Bank co-chief executive Anshu Jain.

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