Smartcoin, a startup that lets general public take small-ticket loans through an easy to use app, is announcing a $7 million Series A round today. The capital has come in from LGT LightstoneAspada and existing investors Unicorn India Ventures and Accion Venture Lab.
The app based lending platform provides a variety of loans to all sorts of consumers. These loans includes small ticket personal loans to micro merchants, self-employed and salaried individuals, who mainly borrow to fund their economic advancement. According to the company, majority of the 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.
Rohit Garg, co-founder for Smartcoin, said in a prepared statement, “Our goal has been to provide access to credit to those underserved by the formal banking system. Our choice to build for the credit-starved mass market and strong portfolio performance has helped SmartCoin stand out in a crowded fin-tech market.”
He further explained on how the company manages risks associated with such loans, “Our proprietary AI/ML powered risk-assessment engine enables loan-approval within minutes and provides credit through a hassle-free, completely automated process”. These proprietary AI/ML underwriting algorithms are capable of assessing the risk profile of a prospective borrower in real time and delivering the loan through a completely digital manner. The company is planning to further improvise and expand its existing product line by using insights from the customer’s financial and behavioral data, combined with a gamified ladder.
SmartCoin plans to use the current round of funding to primarily grow their loan book. The platform also plans to expand its data science team, advancing their AI/ML-based underwriting platform, launching new products and growing its user base to 10 Million.
Since 2017, Smartcoin has acquired significant traction. The company claims to be serving customers across all of the Indian states and over 95% districts of India. The company has offered loans amounting to over INR 400 crores (~$57 Million) to half a million customers, with a pan-India user base of over five million. They also received an NBFC license in October 2019 from RBI, thus enabling them to venture into a larger set of customers looking for small business financing.
The company was the only fintech startup in 2019 to successfully graduate from both Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program and its App Excellence program for its advanced data- driven, mobile- first approach.