One sector, that could see some surge in usage in the current environment, is lending. Be it consumer lending or business, both could see an upsurge as regular sources of income dry up amid nationwide lockdowns globally. Despite government efforts to offer some comfort through moratoriums in countries such as India, it is expected that consumer lending will grow as people will look to borrow more amid income squeeze.

And startup investors, who have had limited activity during the current period, seem to have found this opportunity lucrative. As a result, India-based Capital Float, an online-only lender for both consumers and small businesses, is announcing a fresh $15 million equity round, funded by existing investors. Participants in the round included Ribbit Capital, Amazon, SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital India. The announcement for the closure of this round comes after it was reported in January, that the company has already raised the said $15 million.

In terms of deployment, Capital Floar will be using these funds to bolster its capital base and expand its lending operations to SMEs and Consumers. With this new addition, the total equity raised by Capital Float till date stands at $125 Million (INR 800 crore). Additionally, the company has also raised $300 Million (INR 2,200 crore) in debt funding to date, a common practice among lenders.

With coronavirus-induced lockdown bringing businesses to grinding halt, Capital Float is primarily raising this money to ramp up its existing lending capacity. “At a time when the industry is faced with multiple challenges, we are grateful for this reinforcement and want to continue making lending effortless for SMEs and Consumers across the nation”, said Sashank Rishyasringa & Gaurav Hinduja, Co-Founders of Capital Float, in a joint statement. “We’re eager to significantly increase our lending capacity once the lockdown is lifted to enable SME growth and consumer spending at scale”, they added.

And it does make sense. Traditional banking and microfinance institutions are themselves finding it tough to continue business as usual. And that, despite significant liquidity measures from India’s banking regulator, the Reserve Bank. The situation for Banks and MFIs is tough since businesses are on a hold, and hence are unable to clear up payments for existing credit. And even prior to the epidemic, India;s economy was in the process of coming out from a rather lean patch. That had already kept the banking sector under strain.

Tech-enabled digital lenders with the ability to rapidly disburse credit, could be one way of handing increased credit lines to businesses, once lockdowns are lifted. And Capital Float’s loan book is a proof of that. Since its inception, Capital Float claims to have disbursed an impressive $1.2 Billion (over INR 8,800 crore) in loans to over half a million customers in India. The company’s customer base is spread across 300 cities in the country, and includes both SME and consumer borrowers.

With fresh money in the bank, Capital Float is focused on building its loan book with its FAST loans (Fully Automated Small Term Loans) product for SMEs. This fully digital financing solution is designed to serve the working capital needs of SMEs in India, with a strong focus on Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets.

Additionally, the company is also scaling its Consumer finance vertical with the Online Checkout Financing product, where Amazon is a major partner, and its Personal Finance Management (PFM) app called Walnut. In addition to offering a personal credit line, Walnut also recently launched a digital COVID insurance product and a “Find a Store” feature to help users during the current lockdown period.

Recently, Capital Float also announced a new partnership with one of Japan’s biggest financial institutions, Credit Saison. Under the said partnership, the digital lender will offer working capital financing to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across India.