Consumer lending platform EarlySalary raised $110 million at a valuation of $300 million in its largest funding round, led by TPG’s The Rise Fund and Norwest Venture Partners.
The Series D was a mix of primary and secondary share sale and saw investment from existing investor Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Limited. The company plans to use the proceeds of the fundraise to scale its business in the next 24 months.
Founded in Pune in 2015 by Ashish Goyal and Akshay Mehrotra, EarlySalary provides lending solutions of up to Rs 5 lakh to working professionals. While Goyal served as the Chief Investment Officer at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance before founding EarlySalary, Mehrotra was the Chief Marketing Officer at retail chain Big Bazaar and Policybazaar.
The tenure of these loans on the platform ranges from 3 to 24 months, while the average ticket size ranges between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000. Further, loans on the platform can go up to Rs 5 lakh, EarlySalary said. However, the company is now experimenting with high-ticket value loans worth Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 through its BNPL category.
According to the company, it has around 12 million app downloads with 80% of the users being repeat customers. Currently, it is present in 150 cities and aims to add 100,000 new users every month. It has already disbursed nearly 2.8 million loans worth Rs. 7,500 crore (nearly $1 billion).
This comes in the wake of a June’20 clarification by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to fintech’s that loading of credit lines into prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) like prepaid cards and wallets is prohibited. After the clarification, EarlySalary suspended loan issuance through its cards.
RBI also approved 12 guidelines on digital lending on August 10. As per the norms, disbursal of loans and repayments should only be done to and from bank accounts of lenders and the consumer without any pass-through or pool account of the lending service provider (LSP) or any third party.
“Through its innovative platform, EarlySalary delivers a critical financial service to the growing, yet underserved, middle-income segment in India. By providing modest, short-duration loans at competitive rates, EarlySalary is improving the financial health of its customer base and empowering them to finance things like upskilling courses, healthcare needs, personal emergencies, and short-term cash flow mismatches,” Akshay Tanna, Partner at TPG said.
“Digital lending is emerging as one of the fastest growing fintech segments in India and we believe that EarlySalary is well positioned to serve the credit needs of millions of underserved but aspirational Indians,” said Niren Shah, managing director at Norwest Venture Partners.
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