Education-focused lender Finwego said on Thursday it has raised $1.7 million from venture capital firm SAIF Partners, along with high networth individuals and angel investors who also participated in the fund raising.

Currently operational in Tamil Nadu, Finwego specializes in lending across the school ecosystem, and will use the funds raised for expansion, growing a profitable book and strengthening their tech and data infrastructure. It also plans to apply for a non-banking finance company (NBFC) licence soon.

Finwego has already on-boarded over 200 schools in the last 6 months and plans to expand to over 1,000 by the end of this financial year.

Shiv Vadivelalagan, Co-Founder & CEO, Finwego said, “Our aim here at Finwego is to deliver customized lending products for the rapidly growing private school education space in India. With the infusion of new funds, we are looking to build a high caliber team and digital infrastructure to support our robust growth plans. We plan to reach out to 10,000+ schools over the next 5 years and have a pan India presence."

A number of lending startups have hit the market to raise money, across early and growth stages, in equity and debt, despite a liquidity crisis where banks and NBFCs have not been lending to startups and volumes have been muted. Mint reported on 17 June that digital lender Lendingkart has raised 80 crore in debt from venture debt firm Alteria Capital, marking Alteria’s single largest deal.

The education lending space has also seen another Tamil Nadu-based firm, Shiksha Finance raise 55 crore led by private equity fund Zephyr Peacock India Growth Fund. Shiksha finances students in classes 1-10 and provides financing for working capital and capital expenditure to schools that run classes from nursery/kindergarten to Class 12.

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