ftcash, a fintech startup that provides merchant cash advances to micro merchants, has raised 50 Crores in a Series A round led by global nonprofit Accion and the Dutch development bank FMO with follow on participation from IvyCap Ventures, an Indian VC fund.
ftcash’s new round of funding will be used to accelerate product development and expand into new geographies.
“By using transaction data for credit assessment and leveraging repayments from the ftcash payments platform, ftcash is pioneering a model that can reach 60+ million micro-merchants in India, 96% of whom have been underserved by banks and traditional finance companies,” said Sanjeev Chandak, Co-founder and CEO, ftcash. Chandak says he took his inspiration for ftcash from the large potential of MSMEs and their role in growth of the economy, evident from his days at Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
“From day one, ftcash’s mission has been to bring change to the financial system so that small businesses can have faster and easier access to credit,” said Chandak. “With this round of funding and the expertise of our phenomenal investors and advisors, we are positioned to connect millions of underserved micro-merchants to financial services that can advance their lives.”
ftcash focuses on improving access to credit for informal micro merchants that are largely underserved. ftcash uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze payments and alternative data for originating loans and deducts collections directly from merchants’ digital payments. Additionally, ftcash matches merchants’ digital cash flows to credit due dates, increasing the chances of on-time loan payments.
“With micro merchants often struggling to access the financial services they need to grow, ftcash’s innovative use of data and digital platform is making it easier for these businesses to secure the financing they need to thrive,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion. “Our investment in ftcash represents an opportunity for Accion to continue its work helping financial services platforms leverage partnerships, technology and data to increase financial inclusion for micro merchants in India,” said Radhika Shroff, Deputy Chief Investment Officer of Accion Global Investments.
“The innovative proposition of ftcash is stimulating small and micro entrepreneurship development and financial inclusion in India. FMO is very pleased to support economic development globally by catalysing the establishment of more stable and inclusive financial systems in emerging and frontier markets,” said Ronald Janse, Manager Private Equity at FMO.
“We are extremely excited about FMO and Accion joining us in ftash. We have been a part of ftcash’s journey from the beginning and the company has grown from strength to strength. There is tremendous potential in the small and micro lending segment, and ftcash is well positioned to be a leading player, with its proprietary algorithm and end-to-end customer relationship. We look forward to working closely with the new partners to scale the company to its new heights,” said Vikram Gupta, Founder & Managing Partner, IvyCap Ventures.
ftcash was founded in 2015 by Sanjeev Chandak, Deepak Kothari and Vaibhav Lodha. The company has delivered financial services to over 30,000 merchants. ftcash was incubated by PayPal and was a part of the six teams selected globally for the Mastercard StartPath Program. Late last year, MIT awarded ftcash as the Most Innovative Future of Work in the World. In 2016, it was also awarded The Great Tech Initiative award by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to India.
In addition to the investment, Accion is providing advisory services to help ftcash scale its current business and develop new product lines and business models.
ftcash is one of India’s fast-growing financial technology ventures which aims to empower micro-merchants through financial inclusion using loans and digital payments. ftcash uses its proprietary algorithm to understand the credit-worthiness of merchants using their transaction flow data on the ftcash payments platform along with several other data points, to provide these MSMEs institutional finance. More at www.ftcash.com
Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of — or poorly served by — the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 110 partners in 50 countries. More at www.accion.org
FMO is the Dutch development bank. FMO has invested in the private sector in developing countries and emerging markets for more than 45 years. Its mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world. FMO invests in sectors where it believes its contribution has the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy and agribusiness. With an investment portfolio of EUR 9.6 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the largest bilateral private sector development banks globally. More at www.fmo.nl
About IvyCap Ventures
IvyCap Ventures is the largest home grown Venture Capital Fund in India. The funds under the management of IvyCap are anchored by the Alumni Trust and leverage the network of IITians across the globe to create value in its portfolio companies. It invests in start-ups and growth stage companies across sectors including technology, education, energy, healthcare and agriculture. IvyCap has a portfolio of 14 companies as on date, including: Purplle, Clovia, Vinculum, Leixir, eShakti, ftcash, GrabOnRent and BlueStone. The Fund has so far made exits in two of its companies: Aujas and Sokrati. More at www.ivycapventures.com