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Indifi partners with money transfer firm Eko to expand SME lending biz

Indifi partners with money transfer firm Eko to expand SME lending biz
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Fintech startup Indifi Technologies, which connects small businesses with formal lending institutions, on Wednesday announced a tie-up with Eko India Financial Services to facilitate a line of credit for customers of the money transfer firm.

Indifi said in a statement that the collaboration will enable Eko’s cash distributors to avail of credit facilities based on their trading activities and transactions on the portal. In the process, it aims to accelerate the movement of funds for a massive segment of small and medium-sized cash-based businesses.

Eko’s target customers are low- and middle-income segment entrepreneurs earning Rs 10,000-50,000 per month.

Through its ‘Connect’ portal, Eko works with multiple distributors serving as community cashiers for retailers across the country. It transfers money on their behalf to customers, suppliers, dependents in their family, or any other intended recipient. 

“Our partnership with Eko will further our vision of facilitating financial inclusion for India’s huge SME sector,” said Alok Mittal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Indifi Technologies. 

Operational in more than 50 cities, Eko claims to have a network of more than 20,000 retail partners and over 500 distributors on its network. Eko also offers a prepaid wallet for domestic money transfers; it had launched the offering in August 2015.

TechCircle reported in June this year that Eko had raised Rs 10 crore ($1.45 million) from US-based impact investor Creation Investments, seven years after its last publicly-known external fundraise.

Founded in 2015 by Mittal, Siddharth Mahanot, and Sundeep Sahi, Indifi has tied up with a number of financial institutions such as Edelweiss, India Infoline and Capital First, which provide credit financing to micro, small and medium enterprises.

The company last raised funding in 2016 when impact investment firm Omidyar Network led a $10 million (Rs 66.5 crore) Series B round. Existing investors Accel Partners and Elevar Equity had also contributed.

In August last year, the firm appointed banking veteran Rana Vikram Anand as president to strengthen its leadership team. Earlier this year, it roped in former ICICI Bank veteran Maninder Juneja as a strategic adviser.

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