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Digital lending startup SlicePay raises money in extended Series A round

Digital lending startup SlicePay raises money in extended Series A round
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SlicePay, a digital lending platform which caters to college students and young professionals, has raised an undisclosed amount in an extended Series A round of funding led by Chinese firm FinUp Finance Technology Group. 

The company said in a statement that existing investors Blume Ventures, Japan’s Das Capital, and Russia’s Simile Ventures had also participated in the round.

A person close to the development who did not wish to be named pegged the deal at $14.9 million (around Rs 105 crore at current exchange rates).

SlicePay said it will use the fresh capital to expand its presence nationally to tier-1 and tier 2-cities.

A microlending platform, Bengaluru-based SlicePay enables college students to buy products and services online on monthly payment plans, without any 

collateral. 

For this purpose, the company has partnered with major e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal and Paytm.

“Most millennials in India don't understand credit and  a significant proportion of them don't have access to credit,” said Rajan Bajaj, chief executive and co-founder of SlicePay. “We are solving this through alternative data-driven risk assessment.”

SlicePay Card, a Mastercard-powred card that customers use for online purchases, and Micro Cash Loans are the firm’s flagship products. SlicePay currently operates in a number of tier-1 cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, and plans to expand its services to tier-2 cities this year.

The fintech venture provides a credit line of up to Rs 60,000 to students through its proprietary risk mechanism. The final loan disbursal is done by the partner non-banking financial company (NBFC).

 “The significant increase in the number of youngsters using digital channels to solve their day-to-day needs opens up a big opportunity for innovative companies such as SlicePay to lead the wave of the digital finance space in India,” said Zhang Hui, co-founder and chairman of FinUp Finance Technology Group.

SlicePay was founded in November 2015 by Bajaj, an Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur graduate, and Deepak Malhotra, a BITS Pilani alumnus. 

Bajaj previously worked with Flipkart while Malhotra was associated with eBay.

Garagepreneurs Internet Pvt. Ltd, which runs SlicePay, had raised $2 million (about Rs 13 crore) in a Series A round of funding from Das Capital and Simile Venture Partners in October last year.

Previously, it had secured $500,000 from Blume Ventures and startup incubator Tracxn Labs in early 2016. 

In February 2017, SlicePay had acquired Trustio, a New Delhi-based peer-to-peer lending company, in an equity deal.

The fintech segment has emerged as a preferred destination for investors over the past couple of years, given its high scope for disruption and the government’s push to go digital.

In 2017, funding in India's fintech sector quadrupled to $1.84 billion from $447 million in 2016, according to data from VCCEdge, the research arm of News Corp VCCircle.

Apart from SlicePay, a number of digital lending startups have raised funding in the recent past including Propelld, Shubh Loans and SMEcorner.

FinUp is a fintech company which leverages proprietary big data technologies for innovation. It aims to provide financial information services to those seeking loans, wealth management or investment services. The firm provides different types of online financial services under brands such as IQIANJIN, Money Station, FINUP Credit, RenMai and Benew.

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