Online lending platform StashFin raises $5 mn in pre-Series A round

Digital lending platform StashFin, operated by Delhi-based EQX Internet Capital Advisors Pvt Ltd, said on Tuesday it has raised $5 million (Rs 32.2 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding.

The investors included Kirloskar Group’s venture capital arm, Snow Leopard Ventures, as well as Singapore-based Alto Partners and GrowX Ventures, the startup said in a statement.

Several individual investors such as Vibhav Dhawan and Praveen Malhotra, managing partners at executive search firm Positive Moves; Ranu Vohra, founder and managing director of financial services firm Avendus Capital; Raoul Bajaj, chief executive of commodities trading firm Trafigura; Pramod Kabra, partner at investment firm True North; and senior executives from KKR also participated in the round.

“Due to the under-penetration of technology and credit in the financial services sector in India, fin-tech represents an attractive area for investment as it lies at the intersection of a large addressable market size and increasing digital penetration,” StashFin co-founder Tushar Aggarwal said.

The round was secured while StashFin was in stealth mode, he said.

Aggarwal previously worked with Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, private equity firm General Atlantic and Everstone Capital. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School and is also a chartered financial analyst. Launched in September 2016, StashFin is a machine learning-driven digital lending venture that provides a virtual credit facility to consumers. It offers loans ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2,00,000 with repayment periods starting at two months with maximum tenure of 18 months. It charges annual interest rates ranging from 11.99% to 59.99%.

The company is operational in four cities and employs around 60 people. David Lin, former risk and analytics head at New York-based Kabbage, is associated as an adviser with StashFin’s core team.

The fin-tech sector has many players in payments, lending, insurance and personal finance segments. It has seen a lot of investment activity this year. A recent VCCircle analysis showed that 25 fin-tech startups had raised funding in the first five months of 2017. In the past two months, several other lending platforms managed to get investors’ attention.

For instance, Mumbai-based LoanTap, last week, raised $4 million from Kae Capital, India Quotient, IFMR and MAS Financial Services Ltd.

Earlier this month, Bangalore-based MWYN Tech Pvt. Ltd, which runs fin-tech startup MoneyTap, had raised $12.3 million led by Sequoia India. Existing investors NEA and Prime Venture Partners also participated in this round.

Online peer-to-peer lending platform LoanMeet raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding this month from a clutch of investors. Other lending startups that also recently raised funds include SimpliLend, EzCred and Paysense.