Exclusive: Microlending startup RedCarpet gets fresh capital

Exclusive: Microlending startup RedCarpet gets fresh capital
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Microlending startup RedCarpet Tech Pvt. Ltd has secured $3.89 million (Rs 26.81 crore at current exchange rates) in a fresh round of funding led by existing investor Lightspeed India Partners.

The venture capital firm contributed $2.09 million (Rs 14.4 crore) while another existing backer, Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator, put in $234,155 (Rs 1.61 crore), show RedCarpet's filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The company raised this sum in January this year.

Moonstone Investments Ltd, an offshore investment entity based on the island of Guernsey near France, has invested the remaining $1.56 million (Rs 10.79 crore). TechCircle could not immediately ascertain the parentage of Moonstone Investments.

Gurugram-based RedCarpet is currently valued at anywhere between $12 million and $15 million (Rs 82.62-103.28 crore), as per TechCircle estimates.

“We are not commenting because it is part of a rolling round, so the final amounts may be very different than the numbers you have at hand,” said RedCarpet co-founder Sandeep Srinivasa without divulging further details.

The filings further show that RedCarpet had two years ago received $2.5 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Y Combinator.

Srinivasa, Kartik Venkataraman and Abhay Tamaria had founded RedCarpet in 2015. The firm finances online purchases of mobiles, laptops, electronic gadgets and travel on e-commerce sites such as Flipkart and Amazon.

RedCarpet primarily caters to college-going students. Users can make purchases based on a credit limit sanctioned by RedCarpet after assessing the individual’s credit-worthiness. The purchase is then converted into EMIs ranging from three to 12 months. Customers can also request cash loans for direct money transfer to their own bank account. 

Besides, the four-year-old startup also issues a credit card, which is billed monthly and comes with features such as 45 days of interest-free credit and flexible payback options, as per information available on the app’s Google Play Store page.

The company is currently operational in 13 cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.

RedCarpet was among the six startups selected by Google for its Launchpad accelerator programme in May 2016. As part of the initiative, it received up to $50,000 (around Rs 33 lakh) in equity-free seed funding. The startup was also part of Y Combinator’s  2015 summer batch.

Deals in the segment

RedCarpet competes directly with the likes of ZestMoney and SlicePay.

In January this year, ZestMoney, owned by Camden Town Technologies Pvt. Ltd, raised an undisclosed amount in venture debt from Alteria Capital as part of an extended Series A round of $13.4 million (Rs 93.6 crore then) led by Chinese handset maker Xiaomi.

In September last year, SlicePay, a digital lending platform which caters to college students and young professionals, raised an undisclosed amount in an extended Series A round of funding led by Chinese firm FinUp Finance Technology Group.