Fintech unicorn BharatPe on Tuesday majority stake of 51% in Trillion Loans, a NBFC (non-banking financial company) based out of Mumbai. The deal was completed in the month of April.
The company has appointed Ravindra Pandey, Nalin Negi and Sabyasachi Senapati on the Board of Trillion Loans. Pandey is an industry veteran, having a career spanning 37 years in the financial services industry. Negi is the interim CEO (chief executive officer) and CFO (chief financial officer) at BharatPe, whereas Senapati heads the company’s banking vertical.
The company says that the acquisition is in line with BharatPe’s vision to be at the forefront of addressing the credit gap for businesses and users across the country.
As part of the deal, BharatPe has also infused an undisclosed amount of investment into Trillion Loans to enable the NBFC to grow its loan book. BharatPe says that Trillion Loans will operate as an independent entity with its own team under the supervision of the Board. The NBFC will also explore partnerships with other fintech firms and other companies to enable credit across a diverse set of businesses and consumers. Trillion Loans offers a range of secured and unsecured loans, small business loans and working capital loans to SMEs (small and medium enterprises).
BharatPe launched its lending vertical in 2019 and has facilitated loans of over ₹500 crore so far, every month to its partners. “Acquiring a controlling stake in Trillion Loans is aligned with the BharatPe Group’s larger purpose and will enable us to facilitate access to capital to a wider set of underserved and unbanked businesses as well as customers,” says Shashvat Nakrani, founder and COO, BharatPe.
"BharatPe will bring in the product and technology capabilities that will further empower Trillion Loans to launch new and path-breaking digital lending products that will cater to a diverse set of business owners and customers. I believe that there is a huge opportunity for Trillion Loans to further grow and address the close to $380 billion MSME credit gap as well as meet the diverse consumer credit demand in the country that has the largest youth population in the world," he adds.
In FY22, BharatPe’s losses widened to ₹5,594 crore as against ₹2,961 crore in FY21 amidst the string of high-profile exists from the company including former CEO Suhail Sameer, now-ousted former Managing Director Ashneer Grover, and founder Bhavik Koladiya. The company also lost investor confidence amidst its legal tussle with Grover and his wife Madhuri Grover Jain over the alleged misappropriation of funds. In December last year, the fintech unicorn initiated civil and criminal action against the former Shark Tank India judge, and his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, who was the company’s former head of controls, and Grovers’ relatives in relation to the misappropriation of company funds. The company also asked the Grovers to repay ₹88.6 crore with 18% interest on the swindled funds.
Backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and Steadfast Capital, BharatPe was launched in 2018, as the country’s first UPI interoperable QR code and the first zero MDR payment acceptance service provider. The has already facilitated the disbursement of loans totalling close to ₹80,00 crores. BharatPe’s POS business processes payments of over $3.5 billion annually on its machines. BharatPe has raised over $583 million in equity to date. In 2021, the consortium of Centrum Financial Services Limited (Centrum) and BharatPe, was issued a Small Finance Bank (SFB) license by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).