Lendingkart Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs an eponymous digital lending platform, has raised Rs 80 crore ($11.4 million at current exchange rate) in venture debt from Alteria Capital, the debt provider said in a statement.
"MSMEs have traditionally faced huge hurdles in growing their businesses. Our goal at Lendingkart is to help them succeed by fulfilling their financial needs. The funds raised will be used to grow our ability to service the MSME community across the country and bring them into the financial mainstream," Harshvardhan Lunia, co-founder and CEO, Lendingkart, said.
Lendingkart Group was founded in 2014 by Lunia and Mukul Sachan. It operates two entities — Lendingkart Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Lendingkart Finance (formerly Aadri Infin Ltd). Lendingkart Technologies handles technology and digital marketing. It has developed tools based on big data analytics that help lenders evaluate borrowers' creditworthiness. Lendingkart Finance provides collateral-free working capital loans ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 crore to small businesses.
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 at ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HDFC Bank.
Sachan, co-founder and chief operating officer, is a management graduate from IIM-Bangalore and a former official of the Indian Space Research Organisation. He also worked with Lebua Group as director of finance. His other stints include Futures First Info Services Pvt. Ltd and state-run telecom company BSNL.
“The last few quarters have witnessed a lot of volatility in the NBFC space but the companies which have robust underwriting platforms and a strong equity cushion have been able to turn this into an opportunity for growth. While liquidity has not been easily available for the broader market, Lendingkart has grown sharply during this phase,” Vinod Murali, managing partner, Alteria Capital, said.
Lendingkart, which has raised more than $184 million from investors through a mix of equity and debt, is one of the well-funded digital lending startups, along with peer Capital Float.
In its last funding round, it secured $87 million (Rs 565 crore then) in a Series C round of funding led by Singapore’s Fullerton Financial Holdings in February this year. Its other investors include Sistema Asia Fund, Bertelsmann India Investment, Mayfield India, India Quotient and Saama Capital.
The venture debt firm was founded in 2017 by Murali and Ajay Hattangdi, who were former top executives at venture debt provider InnoVen Capital.
In October last year, it hit the second close of its debut fund at Rs 625 crore ($85 million). The fund seeks to raise Rs 800 crore with a greenshoe option to mop up another Rs 200 crore.
Alteria provides venture debt in the range of Rs 5 crore to Rs 100 crore to venture-backed companies.
The venture debt firm had made its first investment in ready-to-cook food startup Fingerlix. It followed this up with investments in Sachin Tendulkar-backed celebrity fashion firm Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai-based ed-tech startup Toppr Technologies Pvt. Ltd and home healthcare services Portea.
Its other investments include scooter-sharing startup Vogo, on-demand delivery startup Dunzo, student accommodation platform Stanza Living, and Rebel Foods, an internet kitchen platform that owns and operates a number of brands including Faasos and Behrouz Biryani.