Peer-to-peer lending platform Faircent, which caters to retail and business loans, has raised $1.5 million funding from Brand Capital, the Bennett Coleman and Co (BCCL) arm for ad-for-equity investment.
Faircent was founded by Rajat Gandhi, Vinay Mathews and Nitin Gupta in 2014. In two years, it has over 6,000 and 26,000 registered lenders and borrowers, respectively and has disbursed total loans amounting to Rs 6.5 crore.
The firm had earlier raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a Series A round from Mohandas Pai’s Aarin Capital and JM Financial Products, a subsidiary of JM Financial.
The P2P lending marketplace empowers the borrower by having a transparent rate discovery model and enables them to reduce interest rates through a reverse auction model.
Rajat Gandhi, Founder and CEO of Faircent, said, “Our association with Brand Capital will help us accelerate our brand building efforts in order to reach more borrowers and lenders. More people need to be made aware of the alternate investment opportunity that we provide and this will help us take a step closer to providing easier and cheaper access to the credit market in India.”
P2P lending marketplaces have been a growing phenomenon in the country. Over the years, a number of entrants have forayed into this space, including Lendenclub, Loancircle, Loanzen and i2iFunding. According to reports, 20 new online P2P lending companies were launched in 2015 and now the total number of lending platforms in the country is 30. In China, the number of such platforms is supposedly more than 2,000.
With the RBI’s new proposal that intends to regulate the peer-to-peer platforms, lending platforms will now be registered as non-banking finance companies (NBFCs). This will help the central bank keep a check on these platforms. The RBI had also hinted that P2P platform may be required to have a brick-and-mortar place of business, while having management and operational personnel of the platform to be headquartered within the country. The platform is also expected to have adequate risk management systems for its operations.