[Funding alert] Fintech startup SMEcorner raises $30M from Paragon Partners, others

Fintech startup SMEcorner will use the freshly raised funds to scale its business towards lending partnerships and for expanding to newer markets.

Fintech startup SMEcornerannouned on Monday that it has raised $30 million in a Series B round. The investment in the SME lender, in the form of equity and debt funding, was led by Paragon Partners, India. SMEcorner will be using the freshly raised funds to scale its business, towards lending partnerships, and for expanding to newer markets.

Samir Bhatia, Founder and CEO of SMEcorner, said,

"The additional capital will enable us to reach over 20,000 new customers and grow our distribution in the coming year. We will continue to focus on building proprietary technology, which will help us serve our customers more efficiently.”

Paragon invested $10.5 million. Existing investors including Quona Capital, Accion Venture Lab, Bharat Shah, and a few other HNIs. Promoter Samir Bhatia has made fresh investments in the round.

Samir Bharia, Founder and CEO of SMEcorner

Siddharth Parekh, Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Paragon Partners, said in a release,

“SMEcorner’s high tech and touch model makes it uniquely positioned to facilitate credit to the highly under-penetrated micro and small enterprises segment. The asset-light model powered by several co-lending partnerships makes the business resilient from liquidity challenges, and a highly granular loan book makes it resistant to any lumpy asset quality issues. We are excited to partner with the high-quality management team led by Samir to enhance the footprint and technology of the business.”

NBFC Firm Digikredit Pvt Ltd, which operates under the name of SMEcorner, raised Rs 90 crore in March, last year. According to reports, Rs 35 crore of equity was infused by Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, which is managed by Quona Capital, and the balance equity was infused by existing investors, including Accion Venture Lab.

The fintech startup received its NBFC licence in February 2018 and is currently present across 15 cities and in four Indian states. It has so far served over 8,000 customers and has disbursed over Rs 550 crore, since obtaining the licence.

Ganesh Rengaswamy, Co-founding Partner, Quona Capital, said,

“SMEcorner’s rapid growth and unique business model has been validated by this round of debt and equity, making them one of the strongest players with stellar liquidity amongst peers. The strength of management team, rapid penetration into micro and small business segment customers, and remarkable asset quality are cornerstones of their success. We are delighted to welcome Paragon Partners on board.”

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)


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