Mumbai: Digikredit Finance Pvt. Ltd, a new age NBFC, operating under the trade name SMEcorner, today announced a fund raise of INR 90 crore of which INR 35 crore of equity was infused by Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, managed by Quona Capital, and the balance equity was infused by the existing investors including Accion Venture Lab. In addition to the equity, the company has raised debt from leading financial institutions. To date SMEcorner has raised almost INR 200 crores in debt and equity. The company plans to raise additional rounds of equity and debt funding in the ensuing fiscal. The total debt and equity fund raised is expected to cross INR 500 crore by end of next fiscal year.
SMEcorner obtained its NBFC license in February 2018 and is currently present across 13 centres across 9 cities in 3 states in India with an employee strength of over 450. It is proud of servicing over 3000 unique customers and has disbursed over INR 225 crores since obtaining the license. The startup offers loans of INR 50,000 to INR 25 lakhs for a period of 6 to 36 months. It intends to use the new round of funding for geographical expansion with 40 new tier-2 and tier-3 cities targeted in the next one year. The funds shall also be utilised for further simplifying the technology front for its customers.
SMEcorner uses a combination of proprietary application score card, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and other forms of artificial intelligence to take a credit call. The tech is built in-house and customised to suit the needs of the MSMEs. The cost of customer acquisition as well as backend processing therefore remain low allowing it to operate profitably. It is also commendable that SMEcorner has brought down the loan approval turnaround time to an average of 3 days as against traditional banks that take in excess of 2 weeks.
“SMEcorner focuses on small ticket loans to the unorganised retail segment. A large segment of our customers are retailers such as kirana stores, electrical shops, readymade garment sellers, chemists, etc. who are the underfinanced section of our society. Recently, UPI and GST have led this segment to formalize and digitize their businesses. It is now seeking new avenues of funds to its fuel growth. We plan to use the new funds raised to add over 9000 customers and disburse over INR 1000 crores of loans by March 2020. We are proud of our unique model wherein our sales teams personally touch base with the customers to understand their financial needs and then we use our proprietary tech to evaluate, process and manage their cases. Our tech not only allows us to scale profitably but also helps the shopkeepers to access loans much faster,” said Samir Bhatia, Founder and CEO, SMEcorner.
“We are thrilled to partner with SMEcorner, Samir and the management team, in an effort to catalyse MSME financing in light of rapidly evolving digital landscape. Given its unique tech and touch model, bolstered by the remarkable founder expertise in SME financing, SMEcorner is uniquely positioned to be a market leader in MSME financing,” said Ganesh Rengaswamy, Co-founding and Managing Partner of Quona Capital.
Accion Venture Lab first invested in SMEcorner in 2015 and has continued to provide advisory and financial support to the company, including through a Board role and a follow-on investment in 2018.
About SMEcorner (www.smecorner.com):
SMEcorner is a tech-based new age NBFC that aims at providing easy and quick access to financial services to MSME sector. It is founded by Samir Bhatia who has worked in leading financial organisations such as CitiBank, Barclays, HDFC Bank and others.
SMEcorner obtained an NBFC license in Feb 2018. Present across 3 states, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan, SMEcorner lays equal focus on technology & one-on-one relationship with the clients. SMEcorner provides Unsecured loans of upto INR 25 lakhs and Loan against property up to INR 1 crore.
SMEcorner secured equity funding from the Accion Venture Labs and The Dutch Growth Fund and Quona Capital in addition to leading strategic HNIs.
About Quona Capital:
Quona Capital is a venture capital firm dedicated to financial technology for inclusion in emerging markets. Quona invests in scale-up stage companies that are expanding access to quality financial services for underserved consumers and small businesses in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The firm backs entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to provide outstanding financial returns and promote breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion. Quona leverages a strategic relationship with Accion, a global nonprofit with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. For further information, please visit http://www.quona.com.