[Funding alert] Micro-lending startup SmartCoin raises over $7M led by LGT Lightstone Aspada
Bengaluru’s app based consumer lending startup SmartCoin has raised over $7 million in Series A funding led by LGT Lightstone Aspada with participation from existing investors Unicorn India Ventures and Accion Venture Lab.
The startup said it plans to use the current round of funding to primarily grow its loan book. SmartCoin also aims to expand its data science team, advancing its AI/ML-based underwriting platform, launching new products, and growing its user base to 10 million.
Rohit Garg, Co-founder CEO, SmartCoin, said,
“Our proprietary AI/ML powered risk-assessment engine enables loan-approval within minutes and provides credit through a hassle-free, completely automated process. Deeper insights into the customer’s financial and behavioral data, combined with a gamified ladder, enables unlocking better products over time.”
SmartCoin began operations in 2017 and has since then scaled rapidly serving customers across all the states and over 95 percent districts of India. The company has offered loans amounting to over Rs 400 crore to half a million customers, with a pan-India user base of over five million. The firm has also received an NBFC licence in October 2019.
SmartCoin lends to a large underserved market hitherto not served by banks, NBFCs, or microfinance institutions. The startup’s product offering includes small-ticket personal loans to micro merchants, self-employed and salaried individuals, who mainly borrow to fund their economic advancement. Use cases include working capital for micro-merchants, fuel and vehicle repair funding for delivery executives; vocational training for micro-entrepreneurs and emergency medical needs of blue/grey collar workers.
Kartik Srivatsa, Managing Partner, LGT Lightstone Aspada, said,
“We are excited to back, in SmartCoin, one of the strongest teams in machine learning and AI in financial services. The company has already built the foundations of what could be one of the important fintech platforms in India that delivers personalized financing products at an affordable cost to underserved households towards their goal of building positive financial net worth.”
“We believe that their AI/ML engine can over a period of time also deliver personalized digital services in areas such as education and healthcare for this segment,” Kartik added.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)