Money & Banking

Indifi leverages data, tech for small loans biz

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on September 25, 2018

Start-up eyes a three-fold rise in customers in FY19



Indifi Technologies, a pure play lending platform for small business loans, is confident of scaling up its customer base to over 20,000 this fiscal from 8,000, said its co-founder and CEO, Alok Mittal.

In its three-year-long journey, this start-up, which has the backing of private equity players Accel Partners, Omidyar Network and Elevar Equity, has disbursed over ₹400 crore (average ticket size of ₹5 lakh) in unsecured loans to small businesses in four areas.

The main problem that Indifi set out to solve was the availability of unsecured credit (less than ₹25 lakh) for small businesses in four segments – travel agencies, small hotels, restaurants and retailers – who use swipe machines for transactions, said Mittal.

Using a hybrid marketplace model, Indifi has, in the last three years, perfected lending of unsecured small loans (average loan size of ₹5 lakh) to these four segments, with its own customised products and credit criteria (own credit score model).

Under this hybrid marketplace, as many as six banks and NBFCs provide capital support to 60 per cent of the demand flowing through Indifi’s online platform. The rest gets supported out of Indifi’s own balance sheet.

The fact that six banks and NBFCs that otherwise were reluctant to cater to these small businesses are now using our platform to do so is proof of Indifi’s success, said Mittal. The six lenders include RBL Bank, YES Bank and India Infoline.

Asked if Indifi plans to enter consumer lending, Mittal replied in the negative. “We have no plans to get into consumer lending. We will only play in the SME lending space. There is so much potential in SME lending. By one count, India has 60 million SMEs. In three years, we have just touched 8,000 small businesses,” he said.

In the coming days, Indifi will explore the physical distribution channel through a third party. Plans are also afoot to get into ‘used car dealership financing’ and also logistics.

“We want to go spaces where data is available and digitisation is happening. With GST, e-way bills getting generated, logistics/ transportation is an area we will look at,” said Mittal.

Published on September 25, 2018

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