Reliance Corporate Advisory Services, an arm of Anil Ambani controlled Reliance Capital, today said it has made an investment of about Rs 7 crore (USD 1 million) in alternative digital lending startup Billionloans Financial Services Pvt Ltd. This is the second major startup investment, after Paytm, by Reliance Capital.
Billionloans, led by Ex-Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan, is a technology-enabled financial services company focused on providing flexible and affordable options to individuals and small businesses that have so far found it difficult to access loans from the traditional banking system.
The company was founded by Rangan Varadan, a serial entrepreneur who has also co-founded MicroGraam – an online micro-lending platform, along with other professionals in the finance and IT industry. The investment is in line with RCap’s strategy to expand its consumer lending business across platforms.
“Technology and innovation in financial services are going to play a big part in bridging the gap between aspirations of large number of Indians wanting access to credit on one hand and the ability of companies to build efficient and scalable lending models on the other,” Reliance Capital Executive Director Anmol Ambani said.
Earlier March, Reliance Capital sold its 1% stake in Paytm’s holding company One97 Communications for Rs 275 crore, reaping over 27.5 times gains on its original Rs 10 crore investment.
Billionloans plans to initially focus on providing educational loans, affordable housing loans and personal loans to individuals and business loans to SMEs. The startup is expected to facilitate loans of around Rs 2,000 crore across multiple products and lenders in next three years, it said in a release.
“Our goal is to fundamentally disrupt how borrowers are sourced and appraised using technology in the quickest possible manner. This will lead to a dramatic change in access, both for borrowers with thin credit histories and for lenders looking to expand beyond their traditional customer bases,” Billionloans Chairman Balakrishnan said. The deal was led and structured by Reliance Wealth Management (the wealth management arm of Reliance Capital).