[Funding alert] BharatPe raises Rs 200 Cr in its seventh debt round of 2021

The financial services startup said it hopes to raise $700 million in debt over the next two years to facilitate the growth of its credit business.

Fintech startup BharatPe on Thursday said it has raised Rs 200 crore in debt funding from IIFL Wealth and Asset Management and Northern Arc Capital, marking its seventh debt raise in 2021.

The startup added that it plans to raise $250 million in debt by the end of FY22.

BharatPe expects to use funds from the latest round to scale its lending business extensively, given the upcoming festive seasons and seeing a huge demand for merchant loans recently.

The Delhi-based startup, buoyed by the increasing traction for its loans business, has set its sights on growing the vertical by 10x, by FY23, it said. Over the next two years, it hopes to raise $700 million in debt to facilitate the growth of its credit business, for which it will explore partnerships with domestic and international investors, NBFCs, credit and pension funds, and banks, among others.

"We are committed to empowering our merchant partners, and intend to build a loan book of $1 billion by March 2023," said Nishit Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer of BharatPe, in a press statement.

VCats took a partial exit from BharatPe at an 80x returns

"As we expand our offering across new cities, we will also be adding secured lending products such as gold loans and two-wheeler loans to our existing set of offerings for merchants," he added.

Earlier this year, the startup had raised more than Rs 300 crore from venture debt funds such as Alteria, InnoVen, and Trifecta, as well as banks such as ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. It has already disbursed over $300 million in unsecured loans to two lakh-plus merchants across the country, and has an outstanding loan book of more than $100 million.

"We are pleased to partner with a unicorn-like BharatPe as it expands its merchant network and diversifies into lending. We believe that technology, coupled with the right financial products, can empower under-served small enterprises, merchants and households," said Bama Balakrishnan, Chief Operating Officer of Northern Arc, in a press release.

Co-founded in 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe, earlier this year, joined the prestigious 'unicorn' club with its $370 million Series E funding round, where it was valued at $2.85 billion.

Edited by Kanishk Singh