BharatPe partners Apollo Finvest for foray into merchant loans

BharatPe partners Apollo Finvest for foray into merchant loans
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Thinkstock
21 May, 2019

Digital payments firm BharatPe on Tuesday said that it is making its foray into small-value, short-duration loans for merchants by partnering Apollo Finvest (India) Ltd, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) formerly known as Apollo Mercantile Ltd.

The New Delhi-based startup plans to rope in more partners.

BharatPe is a payments company which primarily serves offline retailers and businesses. The firm claims that it has scaled up its offline base to beyond 700,000 merchants.

The company allows merchants to accept Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments free of charge through its own UPI QR codes.

Recently, BharatPe launched the UPI Bahi Khata, a service and networking app for merchants that can track payments in real time and maintain ledgers.

Founded in 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe runs operations in 13 cities. It plans to penetrate deeper into the Indian market by targeting unorganised merchants for UPI-based transactions. Before BharatPe, Grover worked at PC Jeweller and was the chief financial officer at online grocer Grofers. Nakrani is an engineering graduate from IIT-Delhi. Career and education information has been sourced from their LinkedIn profiles.

In April 2019, TechCircle reported that BharatPe had raised $15.5 million (around Rs 107 crore then) in a Series A round that saw Insight Partners and previous investors Sequoia Capital and Singapore-based venture capital firm Beenext. New investor Insight Partners is a global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software companies. It had backed Chennai-based cloud billing solutions provider Chargebee last year.

The fintech startup, which is owned by Resilient Innovations Pvt. Ltd, said that it will use the fresh capital for scaling up its operations within the next two years.

The company had previously raised $2 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital India and Beenext last October, among others. American Express top executive Sanjay Rishi and PayU co-founder Nitin Gupta also contributed to that round.