Ola to invest in e-lending startup Avail Finance
Online lending startup Avail Finance and Ola announced a strategic partnership on Friday to build financial solutions for Ola's 1.5 million driver-partners.
The ride-hailing service provider plans to invest an undisclosed amount in Avail Finance in its Series A round, led by Matrix Partners. So far, the startup has raised $9 million in the round.
The partnership with Ola will help Avail Finance build customised financial solutions including micro-savings and micro-insurance products for Ola’s driver partners.
Speaking on the partnership, Ankush Aggarwal, Founder of Avail Finance, said,
“We are energised about this partnership and the opportunity to serve Ola’s large base of driver-partners. We already have close to a million registered users through our various offerings, and have processed requests of over $50 million.”
Founded in 2017 by Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta, the startup provides financial solutions including unsecured online loans to the blue-collared workers, which is comprised mainly of drivers, security guards, beauticians, construction, manufacturing, domestic, and maintenance workers.
Avail Finance offers services including personal loans, salary advances, and savings available on its mobile application.
In an official statement, Avail Finance stated that due to frequent income fluctuations of the workers, financial services are not easily available. Such blue-collar workforce makes up nearly 78 percent of the country’s workforce, and over two million such jobs will be created in the coming year, said a release.
Vikram Vaidyanathan, Managing Director at Matrix India spoke on Avail Finance’s work and said,
“Avail’s vision is to provide a comprehensive financial solution for low-income users starting with the gig-economy. They’ve executed quickly on this vision to build an early leadership position working closely with many like-minded partners.”
The startup is backed by key entrepreneurs in the Indian startup ecosystem including Binny Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart; Kunal Shah, Founder of Cred; and Manish Patel, Founder and CEO of Mswipe.