Mumbai: Online marketplace for consumer loans and other financial products Wishfin will raise up to $50 million in its next round of funding as it looks to make acquisitions in niche segments, a top company official said.

“We don’t have an exact figure decided. However, the inbounds for the next round of capital raise are in the range of $35 to $50 million," said Puru Vashishtha, board chairman, Mywish Marketplaces Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates Wishfin.

“We will continue fortifying our lending business and we want to significantly increase in the next two years. Secondly, our credit card business has grown rapidly since demonetisation. It continues to be a key focus area and we see significant growth in it over the next couple of years," Vashishtha said.

Founded in 2009 by Vashishtha and Rishi Mehra as Deal4loans, in March last year the company rebranded itself as Wishfin after it expanded its product offerings to bring mutual funds and insurance products under one platform. The company has partnered with over 40 financial institutions, among whom are HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, State Bank of India, HDFC Ltd, SBI Cards and Payment Services Pvt Ltd , and Bajaj Finserv Ltd, offering personal loans, education loans and home loans as well as other financial products.

The company claims to have 9 million customers and $3 billion worth of disbursals to date.

“We have a very deep technology capability on the customer acquisition side. A 100% of our acquisitions are in-house. Wishfin’s customer acquisition algorithm integrates machine learning across channels and we are capable of offering technology that we have built in-house to third parties as ‘technology as a service’ platform," Vashishtha said.

In July 2016, Franklin Templeton International Services India invested $15 million in Mywish Marketplaces. Following the transaction, three top executives representing the company’s existing investors joined the board, which include Vivek Kudva, managing director of Franklin Templeton Investments in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India; Alok Sethi, chairman of Franklin Templeton Services; and Samir Sood, representing WhatsApp business head Neeraj Arora, who invested in the company in April 2016.

“Franklin is a long-term investor, and has been successful in building large financial services businesses across the world. They have helped us at Wishfin by providing global context as an input. Moreover, they have helped us in our strategy in the mutual fund business," Vashishtha said.

Wishfin competes with rivals such as Gurugram-based PolicyBazaar (ETechAces Marketing and Consulting Pvt. Ltd) and Chennai-based BankBazaar (A&A Dukaan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd), some of whom have recently raised funding from private equity and strategic investors. Policy Bazaar, for instance, has raised Rs500 crore, or roughly $75 million, at a valuation of $500 million from new and existing investors that include private equity funds True North and IDG Venture Partners.

Vashishtha insists valuation is not the only criteria. “We don’t really think too much about valuations at this stage. Even in the previous round of fund-raising, we did not accept offers from investors who were offering us the highest valuation. It’s important to get like-minded investors" he added.

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