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SmartCoin Attracts Investment From Unicorn India Ventures

The funding will be used for upgrading their technology platform and scaling up operations

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Bengaluru-based startup SmartCoin has received an undisclosed amount of investment from Mumbai-based VC firm Unicorn India Ventures. The funding will be used for upgrading their technology platform and scaling up operations. Unicorn has led the round with participation from a clutch of angel investors. This is Unicorn’s seventh investment from its maiden fund that has earlier invested in six startups – Roder, Grab on Rent, VanityCube, Pharmarack, Inc42 and NeuroEquilibrium.

Founded last year by IIT-IIM alumni Rohit Garg, Amit Chandel, Vinay Kumar Singh and Jayant Upadhyay, SmartCoin is a data-driven micro lending startup. It is a mobile app-based lending platform, capable of assessing the risk profile of a prospective borrower in real time, using data science and machine learning algorithms. Their proprietary credit underwriting engine aggregates thousands of data points on a customer’s smartphone, including financial transactions, device usage and app behavior, to build a customised credit score.

A customer is instantly offered personalised loan products on the basis of his risk and capacity, and the money is transferred digitally to the bank account. All that a customer needs is a bank account, Aadhaar card and social media presence. The entire process, from app download to loan approval, takes less than five minutes, the company said in a statement.

“The idea behind SmartCoin is new age. The technology has been designed keeping the end customer at the heart of it, thus ensuring convenience in filling in their information and offering them a loan product suited to their needs. The concept of app based micro lending has proven successful in several other emerging markets and we see a huge potential in such a business model for India,” says Archana Priyadarshini, Venture Partner with Unicorn India Ventures, who has recently joined Unicorn to head their office in Bengaluru. She will also be joining the board of SmartCoin and will be working closely with the team to scale up their business.

Since its launch last quarter, SmartCoin has disbursed more than 3,000 loans and is growing over 50 per cent month-on-month. SmartCoin plans to disburse 50,000 loans by the end of next financial year. The company is partnering with leading NBFCs and microfinance companies, who are looking to leverage their technology to expand customer base.

Rohit Garg, co-founder and CEO, SmartCoin, says, “Traditional underwriting methods are largely reliant on credit histories, and thus unable to serve people with limited credit data. As a result, there is a huge underserved segment spanning not just the corporate workforce, but also the emerging aspirational class working in semi-white collar and blue-collar jobs. We believe credit should be accessible to everyone, and the process should be as simple as online shopping or cab booking.”

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SmartCoin Unicorn India Ventures Rohit Garg Amit Chandel