Loan firm Avail Finance raises $ 17.2 million

BENGALURU: Online lending startup Avail Finance has raised $ 17.2 million (around Rs 112 crore) in a Series A round from investors led by venture capital firm Matrix Partners.

Ankit Bhatia and Bhavish Aggarwal from Ola, FreeCharge Founder Kunal Shah, Flipkart Co-Founder Binny Bansal and Mswipe Manish Patel Founder also participated in the round.

The fundraiser was a mix of stocks and debt from banks and other non-bank financial corporations (NBFCs).

Avail Finance lends to consumers who work as office workers, cleaning workers, and other blue collar jobs at large corporations that are otherwise unserved by banks. “We plan to be able to disburse loans at the click of a button and speed up our decision-making process. For this we will need to strengthen the platform with our new funds, ”said Ankush Aggarwal, CEO of Avail Finance.

Lending in a wide range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 60,000 for an average period of eight months, the NBFC online has partnered with more than a dozen legal entities to seek out potential borrowers.

Employees of partner companies can download the app and apply for a short-term personal loan by filling in the basic information and uploading the relevant documents. “We have been around 5 crore net outstanding since February of last year when we went online and have disbursed 4,000 loans so far,” Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal said that in order to get borrowers to repay diligently, the company either deducts the amount from the salary or ensures that the automatic debit facility is done on the day the salary reaches the bank account. “Most of these borrowers don’t have a credit history. Therefore, we rely on data regarding their employment history, family history, bank details, salary and incentive structure to decide how much to lend, ”Aggarwal said.

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