Fintech company BharatPe on Sunday said it has raised Rs 139 crore (about USD 20 million) in debt from venture debt firm Alteria Capital and ICICI Bank that will be used to strengthen its lending business and provide credit to merchants.
Founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018, BharatPe offers merchants a single interface for all UPI apps like Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, BHIM, Mobikwik, Freecharge and others. It also facilitates loan facility for its merchant partners.
Speaking to PTI, BharatPe co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover said Rs 90 crore in debt came from Alteria Capital, while the remaining Rs 49 crore was from ICICI Bank.
“We have raised funds from ICICI Bank at a competitive interest rate of less than 9 per cent. We are aggressively building our lending vertical and our loan book is currently at Rs 400 crore.
“With this infusion, we can double down on our efforts and we expect the loan book to grow to Rs 700-750 crore by the end of March 2021,” he added.
Grover said BharatPe had set a target of disbursing Rs 1,000 crore of loans in 2020-21, of which Rs 800 crore has already been disbursed.
“The latest tranche of debt raised will help further build the lending business and enable credit for millions of businesses, across the length and breadth of India,” Grover said.
Last week, BharatPe raised Rs 60 crore in debt from Innoven Capital. With this, BharatPe has raised a total of Rs 199 crore (USD 28 million) in debt till date. It had said it plans to raise over Rs 5,000 crore in debt funding in the next two years to build its lending business.
“We have committed ourselves to provide USD 700 million of loans to small merchants and kirana store owners by March 2023 and are hoping to onboard more institutional debt partners in the near future,” he said.
Grover added that the company aims to become a digital bank that is the one-stop destination for merchants for all kinds of financial services and this tranche of funds will get things rolling.
Merchants are the top priority for the company and it is committed to solving the credit problem for them, he said.
“The institutional debt raised will help catapult our lending business. We intend to raise close to USD 700 million of debt capital over the next two years… By March 2023, our aim is to be present in 300 cities and have the lending product available in 200 cities,” he added.
Grover said the company has already disbursed loans to more than one lakh merchants and aims to scale this up by 8-10 times and enable credit for a million kirana store owners in 2021.
Currently, serving over 50 lakh merchants across 65 cities, the company has grown business 30 times in 2019 and processed over six crore UPI transactions a month (annualised transaction processed value of over USD 7 billion).
BharatPe has raised close to USD 171 million in equity and debt till date. The company’s investors include Beenext, Sequoia, SteadView Capital, Ribbit Capital, Coatue Management LLC, Insight Partners, and Amplo.