Markets

Sundaram Finance to foster start-up ecosystem

Sundaram Finance Group, part of the TVS conglomerate, has decided to foster the start-up ecosystem in the area of financial services and technology.

This is part of a larger exercise to pursue its goal in the digital technology space.

Equity investment

In line with this thought process, the group has decided to put in an undisclosed sum in the form of equity investment in a Delhi-based start-up GyanDhan. The investment is being made through Sundaram Finance Holdings, a subsidiary of Sundaram Finance.

Promoted by two IIT alumni — Jainesh Sinha and Ankit Mehra — GyanDhan is an online marketplace for education loans for students aspiring to pursue studies abroad. It uses proprietary logic to underwrite large ticket education loans.

Typically, Sundaram Finance Group will be looking at investments with ticket sizes of $1 million or less. It will looking at picking up minority stakes in such ventures. “While there is no specific time-frame or corpus in mind, the group is looking to make investments as opportunities arise,’’ said a statement from the group. “The aim is to associate with firms where there is synergy with group strategy,” said T.T. Srinivasaraghavan, managing director, Sundaram Finance.

Harsha Viji, deputy managing director, Sundaram Finance, however, made it clear that the company would be working with a start-up only if it could add value to their business. “The group is looking to co-invest with like-minded venture capitalists and angel investors in the space,’’ he added.

According to Mr. Ankit Mehra, GyanDhan had already helped more than 250 students across India to get education loans of about ₹60 crore.

Mr. Mehra said GyanDhan was promoted by Senbonzakura Consultancy Private Limited. The company was set up two years ago and went operational in 2016. It had raised an undisclosed initial funding from angel investors. Mr. Mehra said the money thus raised primarily went to build technology. He said his company’s strength lay in providing the lenders superior inputs on the employability of the education loan seekers and their prospects in getting jobs.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 6:25:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/markets/sundaram-finance-to-foster-start-up-ecosystem/article18724120.ece

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