Fintech company Avail Finance rolls out loan programme for gig economy workers

Fintech company Avail Finance rolls out loan programme for gig economy workers
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2 Apr, 2020

Bengaluru-based Goddard Technical Solutions, which operates and owns online lending platform Avail Finance, has rolled out a loan programme for gig economy workers in India.

Called Avail Assist, the programme will assist gig economy companies across ecommerce, food delivery, logistics, and mobility segments, the company said in a statement. It will provide financial support to their on-ground contract workforce who are not eligible for employee benefits, it added.

These loans will have a repayment holiday through the pandemic, the statement said.

Additionally, the platform also unveiled an insurance product for blue collar workers.

Read: Gig economy comes to near standstill as Covid-19 pandemic accelerates in India

The company said that a bespoke version of Avail Assist was implemented for driver partners who work for Ola. Under the scheme, the driver partners were eligible to access loans of upto Rs 3,600, disbursed over the course of three weeks, to help them with daily household expenses, the statement said. 

"We deployed Avail Assist to help over 1,00,000 driver partners and their families who are battling a severe liquidity crunch due to the loss of income from the ongoing lockdown through the Ola Sahyog initiative this week. We are offering micro credit of up to Rs 1,200 on a weekly basis to our eligible partners,” Anand Subramanian, spokesperson and head of communications for Ola, said.

Read: Urban Company launches Covid-19 fund for 30,000 gig workers

Founded in 2017 by Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta, Avail Finance is an online consumer lending platform that provides short-term loans to the financially underserved masses of India.

In  June, Avail Finance raised $9 million (Rs 62 crore then) in a Series A funding round led by returning investor Matrix Partners India. 

In March 2018, Matrix India led a seed investment round in the company. Other participants in the round included 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.