Business

Avail Finance eyes 15 million customers

Ankush Aggarwal

Ankush Aggarwal  

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Fintech start-up, Avail Finance, that provides online loans, amongst other financial solutions, to blue-collared workers like drivers and security guards earning between ₹15,000 and ₹20,000 a month is targeting to onboard 15 million of such unserved people in the next 18 months on its platform, a top executive said.

The company, which has cumulatively disbursed loans of ₹250 crore to onemillion customers since 2017, plans to scale up the cumulative disbursements to over ₹3000 crore by then, said Ankush Aggarwal, its CEO.

“The potential is huge in India. Our objective is to reach out to all the ‘missing middle’ urban poor who are neither served by traditional financial institutions nor by micro finance com panies,” he said.In the next 18 months we plan to achieve a cumulative loan disbursements of $450 million (₹3,150 crore),” he said.

Currently, in India, the blue-collared workers earn very low salaries, have no cash reserves and may be little liquid savings. This segment has no credit card penetration, no credit history, and a very low CIBIL scores, which dissuades formalised lending institutions from funding them. And this is the segment that Avail Finance is striving to reach out.

Using a quick and simplistic loan application structure, the company identifies credit-worthy individuals who are currently underserved by banks and NBFCs, and provide them with a line of credit using an online app that enables access to personal loans.

“Our objective is to leverage technology to speed up the loan approval process, eliminate the need for physical verification and provide alternate data points to score the applicants that do not have a formal credit score,” Mr Aggarwal said.

He said the company wants to go deep into the markets it is already in and expand into new markets with several new financial offerings.

“We are not a lending company but a platform which links people with financial institutions and BFSI sector,” he said.

Set up in2017, Avail Finance has partnered with blue-collar worker force of service aggregators such as Ola, Swiggy, Ecom Express, Quess Corp to provide financial products to their workers.

The company provides unsecured personal loans of up to ₹20,000 which helps people to meet financial needs. Personal loan of ₹5,000, to be retuned in one month, attracts no interest.

The company has raised its Series A round of financing of $9 million led by Matrix Partners India in June 2019. It plans to use these funds to expand its product suite and will also offer micro-savings and micro- insurance products tailored specifically for the blue-collar workers.

In March 2018, the company had raised pre-Series A funding of $17.2 million led by Matrix Partners. This round had participation from Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, co-founders of Ola, Binny Bansal, Co-founder and group CEO of Flipkart, Kunal Shah, Founder of Freecharge, and Manish Patel, founder and CEO of Mswipe.

The last fund-raise was a mix of debt and equity, including credit lines from multiple NBFCs. Prior to that, Avail Finance had raised $200,000 in a funding round led by Ola Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 6:06:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/avail-finance-eyes-15-million-customers/article30480543.ece

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