Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal said on Wednesday that he has acquired Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services (CRIDS), a non-banking finance company based in Bengaluru.
The acquisition will see a total fund infusion of ₹739 crore by Bansal, who will become CEO of the company. Samit Shetty and Anand Rao, who co-founded the company in 2012, will continue in their current roles as managing directors. “Samit and Anand have built a great company that provides much needed financial access to people who don’t have access to other formal finance. I look forward to working closely with Samit and Anand and building further on the solid work they have done,” said Bansal.
The NBFC provides access to credit for the unbanked segments of the population, typically the low- and middle-income families, who have traditionally stayed away from the formal banking sector. The majority of its business is in the microfinance space. It also provides loans for two-wheelers, housing, small businesses, and education. CRIDS operates in Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. The company, whose assets under management stand at ₹406 crore, reported a consolidated net loss of ₹5.94 crore in FY18.
The company in a statement said that Bansal will provide additional support “to create further impetus to business growth”. Shetty said that Bansal brings with him the ability of building huge scale grounds up. Rao said that the company is looking forward to benefiting from his insights and experience with technology and making its business better, sustainable and more customer-centric. “Sachin, a trailblazer in India’s e-commerce space, entering financial services and committing significant amount of capital is a great development for India’s financial inclusion story,” said Rao.
Bansal exited Flipkart in 2018 when U.S. retail giant Walmart acquired a 77% stake in the e-commerce firm for $16 billion. His stake reportedly fetched him $1 billion.
Over the last eight years Bansal has invested in a slew of startups as an angel investor and later through BAC Acquisitions Private Limited, an investment firm he founded last year. His investments include Ather Energy, an electric scooter maker; Unacademy, an education-tech startup; medical-tech startup SigTuple; and Team Indus, an aerospace company. In February this year Bansal invested ₹650 crore ($92 million) in the country’s largest cab-hailing service provider Ola.
Some of Bansal’s investments in startups through his investment firm BAC include BoAt Lifestyle, a consumer electronics startup; NBFCs IndoStar Capital Finance and Altico Capital India among others.