Kinara Capital has raised $50 million in an equity round, with the funds designed to help the FinTech disburse $1 billion in loans to Indian small businesses over the next three years.
According to a Tuesday (April 19) press release, the funding round was led by Nuveen, an investment manager with more than $1.3 trillion in assets under management. Joining Nuveen was Triple Jump, a Dutch impact-focused investment manager that advises microcredit funds.
Kinara said the investment will help it expand its products and service to meet the rising need for credit for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in India. The company said it also plans to grow by 500% by 2025.
Kinara offers customers the use of its app, as well as services at more than 110 branches in more than 90 cities across India. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the company’s app can take applicants from loan decision to payment within 24 hours, per the release, with the platform offering loans that range from $1,000 to $30,000.
Hardika Shah, Kinara’s founder and CEO, called the investment “a true attestation of our sustainable business model and the vast MSME market opportunity ahead of us. This fresh equity round will energize us to scale faster so that we can continue doing what we do best, which is to bring more small business entrepreneurs into the fold of financial inclusion.”
Kinara Capital has disbursed $400 million to date in the form of more than 75,000 collateral-free business loans, “enabling vast financial inclusion of the underserved small business entrepreneurs in India,” the release said.
A recent report found that these businesses are increasingly switching to new technology to help with costs, boost productivity and attract more customers.
According to the Indian Business Spend Indicator, 42% of micro-sized companies, 57% of small-sized companies and 53% of medium-sized companies are looking at new technologies. The report also said that 40% of smaller businesses have automated their sales, while 28% have done it for purchase sales.