Bengaluru-based Goddard Technical Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates and owns online lending platform Avail Finance, has raised $9 million (Rs 62 crore) in its Series A round led by existing investor Matrix Partners India, the startup said in a statement.
The company added that it will use the fresh funds to foray into neo-banking. Funds will also be used for expansion of its product suite to offer micro-savings and micro-insurance services tailored for blue-collar workers.
Founded in 2017 by Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta, Avail Finance is building a neo-bank for blue-collar workers.
In March 2018, Matrix India had led a seed investment in Avail Finance. Other investors who participated in the round include Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart; Kunal Shah, founder of Cred; Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati; founders of Ola; and Manish Patel, founder of Mswipe.
Avail Finance partners various aggregators of blue-collar workers such as Ola, Swiggy, Ecom Express, and Quess Corp, and provides financial products for such workers. One such product is an interest-free, short-term loan to assist them during their frequent cash-flow problems. Borrowers have the flexibility to leave a tip, if they were satisfied with the service and experience.
“While we started with a pure-play lending product, we realised that the blue-collar segment needs a more holistic financial platform. We believe that with our unique combination of customised products and focus on customer experience, we can work towards enabling true financial inclusion, while serving these customers profitably,” said Aggarwal.
Matrix India is an investment firm with approximately $1 billion under management. Founded in 2006, the firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market at the seed, early and early-growth stages. Matrix India has invested in several companies such as Ola, Quikr, digital health platform Practo, mobile local language platform Dailyhunt, and digital hotel chain Treebo.
Deals in the space
- March 2019: Microlending platform RedCarpet Tech Pvt. Ltd secured $3.89 million (Rs 26.81 crore) from Lightspeed India Partners.
- January 2019: 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.
- September 2018: SlicePay, a digital lending platform which caters to college students and young professionals, raised an undisclosed amount in its extended Series A round of funding led by Chinese firm FinUp Finance Technology Group.