Former Kotak exec Ketan Patel joins e-lending app CASHe as CEO

Former Kotak exec Ketan Patel joins e-lending app CASHe as CEO
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Mumbai-based Aeries Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates personal loan app CASHe, has appointed former Kotak Mahindra Bank executive Ketan Patel as its chief executive officer and executive director.

In a press note, the company said that Patel will also assume responsibility as the managing director of Bhanix Finance and Investment Ltd, the NBFC arm of Aeries Financial.

Patel is expected to focus on scaling up the company’s operations, besides overseeing its technological innovations and enhancing consumer experience.

“Ketan is a long-time career banker with over 18 years of experience heading key portfolios ranging from retail assets, wealth management and, more recently, as business head of e-commerce and composite banking solutions at Kotak,” said Raman Kumar V, chairman of Aeries Financial Technologies.

An alumnus of Mumbai University, Patel’s stint in Kotak Mahindra Bank straddled across home finance, wealth management, private banking and corporate banking. “My focus will be to strengthen CASHe’s growth and operational performance and making CASHe as a true leader in alternative lending for the millennial in India,” said Patel.

The startup, which was founded in 2016 by Kumar, disburses short-term personal loans of Rs 10,000-2 lakh to young, salaried professionals. It uses an algorithm to determine the user’s creditworthiness by tracking his or her mobile data usage and social media profiles.

CASHe targets young working professionals in the age group of 23-35 years, and claims to have an average loan disbursal time of eight minutes. Loan repayment tenures range from 30 to 180 days. According to its website, the company has disbursed loans worth Rs 320 crore and has a 75% repeat user rate.

Last October, it had raised Rs 20 crore ($3 million) in debt funding from IFMR Capital. In April 2017, it had secured Rs 25 crore ($3.8 million) in a Series A round led by Mathew Cyriac, the former India co-head of private equity at Blackstone Group LP. Earlier, the startup had also raised funding from Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The fin-tech sector in India has gained a lot of traction in recent years with many players emerging in the payments, lending, insurance and personal finance segments. Needless to say, the sector has also attracted significant investor attention in recent times.

Last month, the parent of online insurance aggregator Coverfox Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd had raised Rs 49 crore from Dutch insurance, pension and asset management firm Aegon NV.

In February, online publication Inc42 had reported that online lending platform Credy had raised $1.4 million in seed funding from Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures and Vy Capital, besides a bunch of Silicon Valley-based angel investors.

The same month also saw Mumbai-based personal finance startup Fincash.com raising Rs 1 crore in a fresh round  from a group of angel investors from the financial services sector.