BlackSoil Capital Invests INR 35 Cr Venture Debt In 5 Startups

Through multiple platforms, it has built a quality loan book by deploying over INR 2,500 crore across 135 deals and having an AUM of INR 1,000 crore

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By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Venture debt platform BlackSoil Capital, on Tuesday announced that it has provided INR 35 crore of growth capital in the form of venture debt to five distinguished startups, namely a two-wheeler vehicle financing company – Orange, marketing automation platform – WebEngage, D2C FMCG brand – Habanero Foods, a fintech offering personal loans – CASHe and a branded generic pharma company.

"We are delighted to announce our investments in new-age growth sectors like D2C, fintech, marketing automation etc. These companies have shown tremendous growth in their segments and are backed by experienced management and marquee investors. Their unique business positioning and ability to survive through adversities like Covid is what made these companies an attractive proposition for BlackSoil. We are optimistic that our debt capital will help these companies take their businesses to the next level and we will continue to support them throughout their journey," said Ankur Bansal, co-founder and director, BlackSoil Capital.

Orange Retail Finance is a Chennai-based, new two-wheeler financing company. Rural and semi-urban regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala are the target markets of the company. Orange operates through 85 branches in more than 11,200 villages across these 5 states and currently serving 88,500 customers accumulating to more than INR 335 crore AUM.

WebEngage is a Mumbai-based full-stack marketing automation platform that offers cloud solutions for customer engagement and retention. The company caters to various industries like e-commerce, travel/hospitality, BFSI, gaming, edtech, media, and entertainment. It has its presence in India, Middle East, North Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and others. The company has over 300 paying customers.

Habanero is an omnichannel brand selling continental cooking sauces/salsa, ready to cook pasta sauces, tortilla wraps, etc. through their own website, marketplaces as well as retail. It operates in the affordable premium segment with products based on authentic international recipes. Habanero's products are present in more than 1,000 retail stores in more than18 cities across India. In FY21, despite the pandemic, the company's sales grew over 170 per cent y-o-y.

CASHe is a Mumbai-based fintech providing personal loans and "buy now, pay later" products to salaried individuals through an app and a proprietary underwriting algorithm based on alternate data. The company has disbursed INR 3,000 crore to date and has borrowers pan-India with a current AUM of over INR 400 crore.

BlackSoil has also provided debt to a leading branded generic pharmaceutical company. The company has products across therapeutic segments including consumer healthcare, respiratory care, primary care, diabetes care, and women's health. It has a pan-India presence and robust distribution network covering over 1.5 lakh retail pharmacies. The company will primarily use the funds to meet its growth-led working capital requirements.

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