Krishnan Vishwanathan, CEO and co-founder, Kissht.
Krishnan Vishwanathan, CEO and co-founder, Kissht.

Kissht raises $30 million in Series C led by Vertex Ventures, Sistema

Kissht will utilise the funds to increase its online and offline merchant base, deepen presence across categories and enhance data and analytics capabilities

New Delhi: Digital lender Kissht on Wednesday said it has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by Singapore’s Vertex Ventures (SEA and India) and Russia’s Sistema Asia Fund. Existing investors Fosun RZ Capital, Ventureast and Endiya Partners also participated in the round.

The company will utilise the funds to increase its online and offline merchant base, deepen presence across categories and enhance data and analytics capabilities.

Mint had reported on 11 September that Vertex and Sistema Asia Fund may invest in the Mumbai-based start-up after talks between Kissht and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm, B Capital Group, failed to make headway.

Last November, the consumer credit firm had raised $10 million from Fosun, Prophet Capital Management, and existing investors. Since its launch in 2015, it has raised $43 million.

“We see brand new markets opening up in consumer financing in India and believe that technology will play a fundamental role in addressing this opportunity," said Piyush Kharbanda, executive director at Vertex Ventures.

“However, we feel that it is equally important for lenders to stick to well understood fundamentals of financials services, such as a strong focus on managing collections."

Kishht, founded by former McKinsey consultants Krishnan Vishwanathan and Ranvir Singh, allows consumers to pay for online orders across various categories through monthly instalments without the need for credit cards.

Kissht claims to use a proprietary self-learning algorithm, which assesses a customer’s credit profile using over 2,000 digital footprints and processes loans instantly.

According to a KPMG report, investments in fintech (both private equity and venture capital) have grown dramatically from $108.2 million in 2016 (second quarter) to $370.1 million in 2018.

Kishht, which has one million downloads on Google Playstore, competes with ZestMoney, Capital Float and Flexiloans, among others.

“Our data-centric algorithms and technology platform allows us to underwrite the new-to-credit and excluded segments extensively, while ensuring we are risk prudent. We will use the funding to further accelerate growth," said Krishnan Vishwanathan, chief executive officer and co-founder, Kissht.

India is a credit starved country with a $140 billion annual credit gap that Kissht is addressing through its proprietary technology and innovative financial products, said Dhruv Kapoor, managing director at Sistema Asia Capital.

The company has tied up with over 3,500 offline stores and over 50 online merchant partners, including Amazon, Flipkart, Caratlane, MakeMyTrip and Uber, according to its website..

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