Korean investors put in USD 23 million in SoftBank-backed Indian fintech company True Balance

True Balance allows users from tier 2 and 3 cities to check their mobile balance without internet.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Headquartered in both Seoul and Gurugram, mobile top-up platform turned microloan and insurance platform True Balance has just raised USD 23 million led by a clutch of Korean investors including NH Investment & Securities, IMM Investment, HB Investment, IBK Capital, D3 Jubilee Partners, SB Partners, and Shinhan Capital, reported local media Economic Times.

The fresh funding will be used to expand into new services such as booking rail and bus tickets, provide digital gold, offer instalment purchases on online platforms, instant cash loan, and personal loan. These services will be rolled by the end of the current financial year.

Till now, the company has received a total of USD 65 million and counts SoftBank Ventures Asia as one of its early backers.

In addition to the funding, company’s lending arm True Credit also received approval from India’s central bank Reserve Bank of India to operate as an NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) in the country.

The company was working in partnership with Mumbai-based NBFC Happy Loans to offer credit ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 50,000 (USD 7 to USD 700). Most of these microloans, the company said in a blog, is taken by users to recharge their phone or pay bills for services such electricity, gas, and DTH (Direct to Home) TV connection.

“This is a substantial milestone in our credit journey. We realised the potential in the user credit space and have some strong plans to introduce new innovative credit products in order to tap the lending market soon,” Charlie Lee, co-founder, True Balance told Economic Times.

According to Lee, the company will use the money to strengthen its data and alternate credit scoring strategy to provide better financial services to its target users which are mostly from small towns. “Our goal is to reach 100 million digital touch points and become one of the top fintech companies in India by 2022,” Lee said as quoted by ET.

True Balance launched its insurance product in September this year and claims to have clocked 300,000 digital transactions daily on its mobile platform. It’s not clear whether these transactions include financial services as well or is limited to mobile recharges only.

India is seeing a host of payment companies venturing out in the lending and insurance space as their way to generate revenue. Apart from pure peer-to-peer lending companies such as Money Tap, Faircent, Capital Float, Lendbox, among others, True Balance competes with the likes of major fintech companies including Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe, and Amazon Pay in India’s over USD 200 billion payment market.

Earlier this year, True Balance also announced the launch of a mobile-only e-commerce marketplace for premium and feature phones targeted at users from tier 2 and 3 cities. “Handsets is first of many product categories that we look to launch for our customers ranging from mobile accessories, small electronics to FMCG soon,” Lee said.