Buddy, a Bangalore-based startups which provides a micro-lending platform to students, has raised $500,000 in pre-Series A round from Blume Ventures, Tracxn Labs, and a few other angel investors.
With fresh funds coming in, it will expand on its credit risk & technology team to improve its infrastructure to support growth. It will also concentrate on building a stronger presence in colleges through offline marketing channels.
Although the company was founded in October 2015 by Rajan Bajaj and Deepak Malhotra, it officially started its operations in January 2016, and currently has presence in over 100 colleges across Bangalore.
The startup, which claims to have around 5,000 active students on its platform, provides short-term and long-term payment plans to college students enabling them to buy ecommerce products like mobile phones, laptops, cosmetics and footwear among others.
The product price on the platform ranges from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 90,000. It currently provides products in partnership with various eCommerce players, including India’s biggest online stores such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
Students can choose a product from the partnered eCommerce portals and use the product URL to checkout from Buddy’s website or mobile app after entering the tenure of installments & down payment amount.
The company is also looking to partner with various online merchants and wallets to let the students use their services without making an instant payment and buy products on credit.
The startup aims to become a leader in fin-tech innovation in India by capturing $750 million market demand through its services. The Indian eCommerce market is speculated to grow up to $100 billion by 2020.
Apart from their proprietary Data Science and Machine Learning algorithmic models, it is also working closely with NPCI for automated integration with new age payment technologies like NACH.
Neha Singh of Tracxn, which invested in this round, said,
The opportunity in India is huge as students are increasingly involved in big ticket shopping. This is where Buddy is positioned to address the gap, created by the unavailability of credit card for college students.