Credit and finance for MSMEs: BharatPe said Ravindra Pandey (former deputy managing director at SBI and advisor to BharatPe board), Nalin Negi (BharatPe’s CFO and interim CEO) and Sabyasachi Senapati (Head of Banking vertical at BharatPe) have been appointed on the board of Trillion Loans.
Credit and finance for MSMEs: Fintech firm BharatPe on Tuesday announced that it completed the acquisition of a majority stake in non-banking financial company Trillion Loans in April in order to boost its merchant lending vertical launched in 2019. The company said the acquisition of Trillion Loans, which offers secured and unsecured loans to SMEs, is “in line with its vision to be at the forefront of addressing the credit gap for millions of businesses and consumers in the country.”
BharatPe noted that Ravindra Pandey (former deputy managing director at SBI and advisor to BharatPe board), Nalin Negi (BharatPe’s CFO and interim CEO) and Sabyasachi Senapati (Head of Banking vertical at BharatPe) have been appointed on the board of Trillion Loans.
However, the NBFC, which also provides products for consumers, such as auto, gold, and education loans, apart from SME loans, will operate as an independent entity with its own team and explore partnerships with other fintech firms and companies to enable credit across a diverse set of businesses and consumers, the company said.
Moreover, BharatPe has also invested a “substantial amount” into the SME lender to boost its loan book.
“We had launched our merchant lending vertical in 2019 and it has grown exponentially over the course of the last more than three years. Today, we facilitate loans of over Rs 500 crores every month to our merchant partners. Providing access to credit to our merchant partners is key to our business model, and this acquisition will further propel our growth and accelerate our journey to profitability,” said Shashvat Nakrani, Founder and COO, BharatPe in a statement.
“I believe that there is a huge opportunity for Trillion Loans to further grow and address the close to $380 billion MSME credit gap as well as meet the diverse consumer credit demand in the country that has the largest youth population in the world,” he added.
BharatPe said it currently serves 1 crore merchants across more than 400 cities and has already facilitated the disbursement of loans worth near Rs 8,000 crores. The company has raised over $583 million in equity till date from investors includes Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadfast Capital, Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, etc.
In October 2021, the consortium of Centrum Financial Services Limited (Centrum) and BharatPe was issued a Small Finance Bank (SFB) license by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The company had also entered the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) segment with the launch of postpe in October 2021.
Last month, the Reserve Bank of India’s Deputy Governor M Rajeshwar Rao had urged banks and other financial institutions to see the vast MSME credit gap as “an area of opportunity.” Meanwhile, bank credit to MSMEs under the priority sector lending in March this year stood at Rs 19.69 lakh crore – 14.4 per cent of Rs 136.55 lakh crore non-food bank credit deployed across sectors – with 13.8 per cent growth from Rs 17.29 lakh crore deployed in March 2022.
Importantly, the government is expected to launch a merchant credit card (MCC) this year for MSME merchants and traders to solve their short-term liquidity concerns, similar to the Kisan Credit Card, FE had reported in January this year.