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GGV Capital co-leads a USD 60 million funding round in Indian fintech startup Rupeek

Rupeek plans to use fresh funds to upgrade technology and acquire customers.

Photo by Tom Quandt on Unsplash

Bengaluru-based fintech startup Rupeek, which provides loans against gold, Tuesday said it has raised USD 60 million from Chinese venture capital firm GGV Capital, co-founder of Flipkart Binny Bansal, and Bertelsmann India Investments, the strategic investment arm of the German media conglomerate, Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA.

Korea’s KB Investments, Singapore-based Tanglin Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Accel also participated in the latest funding round, the company said in a statement.

This brings the total amount raised by this lending startup close to USD 100 million, as per the data collated by business information platform Crunchbase. Rupeek plans to use fresh funds to upgrade technology and acquire customers. According to a Bloomberg report, the latest funding round valued Rupeek at USD 300 million, although the startup hasn’t disclosed the valuation. The startup reportedly raised USD 30 million in August 2019 in a round led by Bertelsmann, Accel Partners, and Sequoia Capital.

Rupeek, which was founded in 2015 by Sumit Maniyar, enables customers to get their gold valued at home and use it as a collateral to receive a loan directly into their bank accounts. To disburse the loans, it has partnered with banks like ICICI, Karur Vysya Bank, and Federal Bank. The company is currently present in 10 top Indian cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. It claims to serve more than 2,000 locations.

In November last year, Bloomberg reported that Indians have hoarded 25,000 tons of gold at home and banks worth about USD 1 trillion. The gold loan startup disbursed loans worth USD 16 million in September 2019 and “is currently at a monthly pace of USD 28 million,” Sumit Maniyar, founder and chief executive officer told Bloomberg, adding, “that’s up from a mere USD 1.5 million in January of last year.”

Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital, in a statement, said that gold has long been a favorite way to save and invest for India’s middle-class households, and rather than letting it sit idle, “Rupeek has turned a family’s dormant asset into an easy way to get a loan at affordable rates to grow their small business or pay for emergency needs.”

Bansal believes Rupeek’s “strong customer proposition and approach of partnering with banks is truly a game-changer for the unorganized gold loan space in India.”

“I am really excited about how Rupeek is opening up access to formal credit for a large base of users,” he said in a statement.