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Goldman Sachs leads $15m funding into Indian credit fintech ZestMoney

Goldman Sachs has led a $15m funding round for Indian credit fintech ZestMoney as the start-up continues its rapid expansion.

The Bangalore-based firm said that existing investors Naspers Fintech, Quona Capital, and Omidyar Network also took part in the cash call.

The business lends and helps boost the credit scores of its target market of 300 million Indian households who do not have credit cards or other formal finance because of poor credit histories. Around three in 100 people in the country have a credit card.

ZestMoney uses other data points collected through a mixture of mobile technology, digital banking and artificial intelligence to establish credit scores for its users, allowing them to borrow from financial institutions.

 

Retail deals

It has amassed more than six million users, who can access credit of $140 to $3,000.

The start-up has also signed deals with over 3,000 merchants — up from 800 in April — including Amazon, Uber and Levis to offer financing options to customers at point-of-sale.

The business was launched by chief financial officer Priya Sharma, chief executive Lizzie Chapman and chief technology officer Ashish Anantharaman (pictured left to right) in 2015.

The trio met at Wonga when Chapman moved from the UK to lead the controversial payday loan firm’s Indian operations, before the group collapsed last year. The founders had left Wonga by then.

 

India’s ‘exciting fintech market’

ZestMoney said this tranche of cash is part of its Series B funding round first announced in April, which now totals $63m, the firm told TechCrunch.  

Philip Aldis, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, said: “India is one of the most exciting fintech markets in the world. We see this investment in one of the country’s leading consumer lending fintech companies as fostering much-needed access to affordable consumer credit to Indian households.”

Goldman Sachs has recently backed several start-ups in India, including logistics start-up BlackBuck, home rental platform NextAway and news aggregator DailyHunt.

Digital lending in India is predicted to hit $1trn over the next five years, according to management firm Boston Consulting Group.

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Roger Baird

Roger Baird is News Editor at Finixio. He has worked as a financial journalist for 20 years reporting on companies, capital markets and the UK economy.