Lendingkart’s FY18 loss widens on higher finance costs, loan write-offs

Lendingkart’s FY18 loss widens on higher finance costs, loan write-offs
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Lendingkart Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs an eponymous digital lending platform, reported a wider net loss for the year through March thanks to a jump in finance costs and loan write-offs.

Net loss for 2017-18 expanded to Rs 52.26 crore from Rs 39.80 crore the year before, Lendingkart’s filings with the Registrar of Companies show.

Finance costs, which includes interest paid on loans taken on from banks and other entities, tripled to Rs 36.6 crore while write-offs jumped more than four-fold to Rs 23.13 crore from Rs 5.23 crore.

Higher finance costs and write-offs pushed total expenses to Rs 144.15 crore from Rs 75.47 crore in the year prior.

The company’s operating revenue nearly tripled to Rs 86.53 crore from Rs 30.36 crore. Interest income on loans, the biggest contributor to revenue, jumped to Rs 70.7 crore from Rs 26.1 crore.

Lendingkart’s operating revenue also includes revenue from loan securitisation, processing fees and other charges.

The consolidated financials of Lendingkart Technologies includes those of wholly owned non-banking unit Lendingkart Finance Ltd, which makes loans and accounts for the group’s primary revenue stream. Lendingkart Technologies itself offers technological tools to evaluate borrowers’ creditworthiness and provides other related services.

In an emailed reponse, a spokesperson for Lendingkart said that finance cost is the function of debt the company takes on to fuel growth. This cost has increased in proportion to the company’s revenue and loan book. The increase in write-offs is also in proportion to the rise in revenue, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the company expects consolidated revenue for 2018-19 to cross Rs 225 crore and that it plans to disburse more than 30,000 loans amounting to a total of Rs 2,000 crore in the ongoing financial year.

The spokesperson also said that Lendingkart Finance has been profitable since April 2018 and is likely to post a profit of more than Rs 15 crore in the current year. “At the consolidated level, we have turned profitable from this month (October 2018),” the spokesperson added.

Lendingkart, which has raised more than $173 million from investors through a mix of equity and debt, is one of the most well-funded digital lending startups along with peer Capital Float.

In February this year, it secured $87 million (Rs 565 crore then) in a Series C round of funding led by Singapore’s Fullerton Financial Holdings. Its other investors include Sistema Asia Fund, Bertelsmann India Investment, Mayfield India, India Quotient and Saama Capital among others.

Lendingkart Group was founded in 2014 by Harshvardhan Lunia and Mukul Sachan. Lendingkart Finance, which was formerly known as Aadri Infin Ltd, provides collateral-free working capital loans ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 crore to small businesses. Since inception, Lendingkart Finance has evaluated 1 lakh applications, disbursed more than 20,000 loans in more than 950 cities to more than 13,000 SMEs.

A chartered accountant by qualification, Lunia had earlier founded Domestic Finance and Investment Pvt. Ltd, a company involved in designing and arranging credit solutions for small and medium enterprises in India. He also had stints in ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HDFC Bank.

Sachan, the co-founder and chief operating officer, is a management graduate from IIM Bangalore and a former scientist from the Indian Space Research Organisation. He also worked with Lebua Group as the director of finance. His other stints include Futures First Info Services Pvt. Ltd and state-run telecom company BSNL.