ZestMoney recently announced a capital gain of $6.5 million in its series A round of funding. The investment was led by Naspers-owned PayU along with participation from existing investors including US-based Ribbit Capital and Omidyar Network. This financial platform, ZestMoney aims to link with hundred e-commerce portals in next one year and is currently engaged in pulling other financial institutions.
Jitendra Gupta, Managing Director for leading investor PayU India, said in a statement,
ZestMoney has achieved good initial traction in providing credit to online shoppers and we are excited to partner with them… The investment of minority stake in ZestMoney is part of the larger vision of PayU’s credit portfolio strategy.
The key reason for investments from PayU remains to be the growth of its financial services footprint across emerging markets like India. The funding will be utilized towards technology and product development. ZestMoney has developed machine learning models which will access consumer behavior based on their expenses. Consumer behavior will be judged on user interaction with e-commerce platforms, the product preferences and expenditure structure among others. The funds will go for extension of more such models.
Bangalore-based ZestMoney was co-founded by Lizzie Chapman (CEO), Priya Sharma (CFO) and Ashish Anantharaman (CTO) in mid-2015, while operations were initiated early in 2016. The startup reduces cash collection cycle and benefits e-commerce businesses in many ways. It helps in instant account opening, customer verification and transacting payment online. Conversely, it also enables customers to finance their online purchases without the need of a credit card.
The platform is one of India’s first cardless EMI product that allows customers to payback big online purchases in flexible installments. The platform has presently partnered with 40 e-commerce websites along with three financial institutions. Talking about their current business model, Lizzie stated,
By partnering with us, a lot of these (financial) institutions who are trying to get into consumer durable loan segment are able to do so, without having to develop their own technology. consumers either don’t have a credit card or don’t want a credit card… and we are able to provide them with credit on transactional basis.
Apart from providing credit for consumer durable products, the company is looking forward to adding travel and education to its product labels. Moreover, ZestMoney plans to expand its risk profiling in 2017.