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Spice Digital pulls out of P2P lending startup AnyTimeLoan

Spice Digital pulls out of P2P lending startup AnyTimeLoan
Akshansh Maan/VCCircle

Spice Digital Ltd, a unit of BK Modi group company Spice Mobility Ltd, has exited Luharia Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs peer-to-peer lending platform AnyTimeLoan.in, just seven months after investing in the fintech startup.

Spice Digital had, on 29 December 2017, agreed to invest Rs 12.5 crore in the startup via compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS). It also had an option to invest an equal additional amount. Spice Digital would have held a 30% stake in AnyTimeLoan after converting the CCPS into equity shares.

However, the company modified the pact with AnyTimeLoan to change the CCPS into redeemable preference shares and subsequently redeemed the securities for Rs 6.25 crore ($910,000), Spice Mobility said in a stock-exchange filing on Wednesday.

It didn’t specify the amount that Spice Digital had actually invested or the reason for its exit. In December, Spice Mobility chairman Dilip Modi had said the investment was part of its digital strategy and that fin-tech would be one of its core areas of growth.

Email queries sent to Spice Mobility and AnyTimeLoan on Thursday didn’t receive any response till the time of writing this article.

Luharia Technologies was incorporated in 2016 and is backed by a bunch of angel investors and family office BetaPlus Capital Partners, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle. While the company operated a P2P lending platform, it isn’t immediately clear if it has applied for a licence from the Reserve Bank of India.

The central bank had, in October last year, issued norms for P2P lenders that required them to take a licence to stay in the business. Since then, only a handful of P2P players have secured a licence from the RBI. These include Delhi-based Faircent, Mumbai’s Finzy and Bengaluru-based Cashkumar.

For Spice Mobility, this is its second exit activity within seven months. In December 2017, Spice Mobility had agreed to sell wholly owned unit Omniventures Pvt. Ltd to Delhi-based Emma Innovation & Technology Pvt. Ltd. The sale marked its exit from the mobile handset retail business.

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