Bengaluru: Student micro-financing start-up Buddy (GaragePreneurs Internet Pvt. Ltd) on Tuesday said it has raised $500,000 angel investment from Blume Ventures, Tracxn Labs and other investors. The money will be used to expand the credit risk and technology team and build a stronger presence in colleges through offline marketing channels.

Bengaluru-based Buddy provides small loans to purchase smartphones and laptops among others to help the student during academic years. It has several short and long-term repayment plans across 3-18 months.

“Students’ spending power has significantly increased over the last few years with Indian parents spending more on education, leading to a strong spike in consumption from these millennials," Rajan Bajaj, co-founder and chief executive of Buddy, said in a statement.

Founded in October 2015 by Bajaj and Deepak Malhotra, the micro-lending platform claims to be present in over 100 colleges across Bengaluru, with 5,000 active students on its platform. The company is looking at partnerships with online merchants and wallets to let the student use its services without making an instant payment and to buy products on credit.

Students will need to submit their identification cards (ID), phone numbers of a classmate as well as one of their parents to apply for a micro loan. Buddy has partnerships with large e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon, among others. Students have to choose the product from the respective site and use the product URL to checkout from Buddy’s website or mobile app after entering the tenure of instalments and down payment amount.

It collects over 1,000 online and offline data signals to categorize students into different risk profiles. The company has over 100 part-time freelancers, mostly student ambassadors, to take care of operations in colleges and check on fellow students who are late on their repayments.

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