Bengaluru-based BharatX, a fintech startup that enables consumer placing platforms to offer credit-as-a-feature, has raised $250,000 (about Rs 1.81 crore) in a pre-Seed funding round led by marquee angel investors and other industry veterans to boost Embedded Credit in the Indian market.
The pre-Seed round saw participation from Bengaluru-based Java Capital (as a lead investor), Anupam Mittal (Founder Shaadi.com / People Group), Ritesh Jain (Ex-Chief Operating Officer of HSBC), Faiz Mayalakkara (Director of Investments at UAE’s Sovereign Wealth fund), Amit Kumar Singh (ex-CBO of Indialends.com), and LetsVenture AIF.
Founded in 2019 by Mehul Nath Jindal, Eeshan Sharma, Shyam Murugan, and Siddharth Venu, who are also the students of National Institute of Technology (NIT) Trichy in their Final Year of Education.
BharatX enables embedded credit on consumer-facing platforms with zero risks to the platforms and easy integration within a few hours, the statement said. The startup claims that it does not require a lot of documentation from target users, and has a high approval rate for people applying for credit.
With this round of funding, BharatX will continue its focus on delivering seamless embedded credit experiences on many consumer-facing platforms across the country, with zero credit risk and zero operational headaches for the platforms.
Customers of the platforms will enjoy a white-label seamless experience with no separate app download required, it said.
According to the startup, Nearly 480 million Indians don’t get access to credit due to lack of documentation, high-interest rates, and inadequate supply of credit in the informal sector. BharatX aims to bridge this gap with credit products enabled on apps that those users already use.
Speaking on the development, Mehul Jindal, founder of BharatX, said: “Over the last decade, startups have brought the Bank to our mobile phones, but they haven’t brought what even the Banks couldn’t deliver - Access to Credit. Our goal with BharatX is to enable easy and cheap access to Credit to Every Middle-Class Indian who deserves it with a Zero Document Flow. Embedded Credit, allows us to acquire users at much lower costs while also creating value for the Platform we partner with, be it through journeys like Khata, Try & Buy, Pay Later, Credit Line, etc.”
“We are proud to say that, we do not bias against factors like gender, age, etc and our approval rates are multiples higher than the industry benchmarks, as our focus is on access to credit. We are excited and very grateful to our investors for putting their belief in us to solve this problem that has plagued Indians for far too long. We hope to bring some exciting and disruptive tech to the market soon," he adds.
The most popular embedded credit journey by BharatX is the “Khata” plan which focuses on daily essentials sellers, allowing people to buy groceries and household essentials, and pay next month, similar to the offline Khata that many Kirana’s offer offline to their customers.
It also has a “Pay-in-3” option, which allows the customer to split their purchases into three interest-free installments with one of the highest approval rates in the market.
Additionally, BharatX’s “Try-and-Buy” feature, which is specifically designed for social commerce platforms and apparel & fashion websites, allows customers to try out a garment and pay upto 5-10 days after delivery, solving customer concerns regarding returns and refund policy.
Apart from this, Its "Pay later" feature, which is designed for food delivery, payment apps, and postpaid features for ride-hailing apps. Its “Design-Your-Own-Credit” feature also allows merchants the freedom to develop their own payment method, with technology powered by BharatX.
Speaking on the investment, Karteek Pulapaka, Partner, Java Capital, said:
“We are thrilled to partner with BharatX and back the exceptional founding team led by Mehul Jindal. BharatX offers plug-and-play credit products through an ultralight SDK that can be integrated by brands, e-commerce stores, merchants, and their own mobile apps. The next wave of growth in India will come from its deepening internet penetration and increased data usage. However, much of this growth depends on how easily customers can access credit, and if it is affordable. BharatX can revolutionize how this wave of internet shoppers avail formal credit. We are happy to be part of this mission.”
The startup was also a part of the Lightspeed Extreme Entrepreneurs Cohort of 2021.