[Funding Alert] SMEcorner Raises $30 Million in Series B Funding Led by Paragon Partners
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Mumbai-based SMEcorner, a lending startup for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has raised $30 million in series B funding led by Paragon Partners. The funding has been a mix of both equity and debt and saw participation from existing investors including Quona Capital, Accion Venture Lab, Bharat Shah and a few other high net individuals.
Paragon Partners invested $10.5 million in the funding round. The 2014 founded startup also saw promoter Samir Bhatia invest an undisclosed amount in this funding round.
Talking about the funding, Siddharth Parekh, Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Paragon Partners, said, “SMEcorner’s high tech and touch model makes it uniquely positioned to facilitate credit to the highly underpenetrated micro and small enterprises segment. The asset-light business model powered by several co-lending partnerships makes the business resilient from liquidity challenges and a highly granular loan bookmakes it resistant to any lumpy asset quality issues.”
SMEcorner is a Non-Banking Financial Company FinTech which is focusing on lending to the unorganized retail sector (shopkeepers) in India. The startup obtained its NBFC license in February 2018 and is currently present across 15 cities in 4 states in India.
SMEcorner plans to use the funding to rapidly scale-up its business, lending partnerships and market expansion in the coming financial year. The FinTech startup too plans to lend INR 1000 crores by the end of the next financial year.
“The additional capital will enable us to reach over 20,000 new customers and grow our distribution in the coming year. We will continue to focus on building proprietary technology which will help us serve our customers more efficiently,” said Samir Bhatia, Founder and CEO, SMEcorner.
SMEcorner has serviced over 8,000 unique customers and has disbursed over INR 550 crore since obtaining the license. The startup does small ticket business loans in urban and semi-urban markets and uses a combination of proprietary scorecards, unique proprietary OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tools and other forms of Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence tools to enable quicker and better quality credit underwriting.