Exclusive: Chiratae tops up EarlySalary Series B as DHFL drops investment plans

Exclusive: Chiratae tops up EarlySalary Series B as DHFL drops investment plans
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Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India) has topped up its Series B investment in Bengaluru-based online lending platform EarlySalary. 

The venture capital firm has picked up shares that were originally allocated to DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd), which has now waived its rights to subscribe to the shares, according to EarlySalary’s filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Chiratae has invested an additional $1.16 million (Rs 8.16 crore) in EarlySalary in the latest transaction, the filings showed.

Both Chiratae and DHFL were part of a $15.7 million (Rs 100 crore then) commitment -- announced in January last year -- that was to constitute EarlySalary’s Series B round. The round was led by Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International.

It could not be immediately ascertained why DHFL decided not to go ahead with its earlier commitment. Email queries sent to EarlySalary, Chiratae and DHFL did not elicit responses at the time of publishing this report.

Both Chiratae and DHFL had also invested $4 million in EarlySalary’s Series A round in early 2017.

DHFL recently found itself embroiled in allegations of a Rs 31,000 crore fraud through bank loans, which were allegedly routed through shell entities to the promoters. Since then, its share price has tumbled on the stock market. Last month, credit rating agency CRISIL downgraded DHFL's rating to CRISIL A3+ from CRISIL A2+.

Pune-based Social Worth Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which owns EarlySalary, was founded by Akshay Mehrotra and Ashish Goyal in 2015. The startup offers a mobile app that allows salaried individuals to avail instant loans across different product categories for a tenure of anywhere between 30 days and 12 months depending on their eligibility, the product and the ticket size of the loan.

Likewise, the ticket size of the loans range anywhere between Rs 10,000 and Rs 3 lakh, depending on the individual’s credit-worthiness. Users can avail of these loans in the form of salary advances or credit card cash withdrawals.

The credit limit can also be used on its partner network to finance purchases or avail services. Companies which are part of its partner network include Flipkart, Amazon, BigBazaar, Yatra and MakeMyTrip. EarlySalary also offers its users the facility to avail education loans of up to Rs 3 lakh. The mobile app is available on the Google and Apple app stores.

In May last year, the startup acquired Mumbai-based CashCare, which used to offer consumer loans through non-banking financial companies, for an undisclosed amount.

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