Online lending marketplace for small-and-medium enterprises Namaste Credit has raised $3.8 million Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners. Founded in 2014 by Lucas Bianchi, Gaurav Anand and Krishnan Parameswaran, Namaste Credit plans to increase its channel partner programme across India, and also grow the number its technology licensing partnerships with different leading lenders across the globe.
Sunstone Capital, run by former McKinsey and Bank of America professionals, acted as the exclusive financial adviser for this transaction.
The fundraise will also help Namaste Credit grow its geographic footprint, its technology and data analytics platform, and scale its businesses. In a press release by Namaste Credit, Lucas said the technology provides lenders better quality underwriting and reduced turnaround times at significantly lower costs than existing manual underwriting processes.
“Our clients are witnessing much higher productivity as a result of being able to accurately process physical documents digitally and run automated credit algorithms. This makes our solution truly unique and is driving rapid adoption,” said Lucas.
The team adds that over the last 12 months, its disbursement volumes have increased over 10 times, with participation from over 30 institutional lenders. Using Machine Learning and patent-pending algorithms, Namaste Credit has increased its loan conversion rates to over 70 percent.
This platform has over 10,000 channel partners. Namaste Credit is also starting to license core technology to several leading NBFCs and Banks.
Anup Gupta, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, adds, “SME credit is seriously constrained due to lack of reach and relevant data to assess credit worthiness of borrowers. Namaste Credit’s technology, combined with its channel partners and lender network, is already making a significant impact on facilitating credit to SMEs in a win-win manner for all. We are excited to partner with Lucas, Gaurav and Krishnan in their vision of transforming the SME credit market in India.”
The platform provides the best outcomes for SME borrowers and significantly improves the efficiency of channel partners and lenders alike. In August, Bengaluru-based CapitalFloat also announced raising $45 million in Series-C funding led by Silicon Valley-based Ribbit Capital, along with participation from existing investors SAIF Partners, Sequoia India and Creation Investments.
Earlier this year LendingKart raised $87 million Series C funding led by Singapore’s Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. SME credit is a big market in India, and many peg it to be a $500 million market. However, it continues to be dominated by traditional and offline players.
According to co-founder Gaurav, “Our technology platform enables lenders to identify potential underwriting issues much faster and also prevent intentional fraud. We provide predictive analytics on banking and financial data of SMEs very efficiently, which helps lenders more accurately assess and price risk.”