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Fintech startup Bold Finance raises $1.5 mn in seed funding

Currently, 65% of the $130 billion gold loan market is unorganised and managed by pawnbrokers, money lenders, jewellers, HNIs etc. (File Photo: AP)Premium
Currently, 65% of the $130 billion gold loan market is unorganised and managed by pawnbrokers, money lenders, jewellers, HNIs etc. (File Photo: AP)

Bold Finance was started with a broad vision of enabling financial freedom for Bharat, by improving credit availability for users from the lower and middle-income segments of tier-two and tier-three cities. Its first offering is gold loans

NEW DELHI: Fintech startup Bold Finance has raised a seed round of $1.5 mn. This round has been led by Kae Capital, with participation from existing investor Antler India and several angel investors such as Nitin Gupta (Uni Cards), Ishpreet Gandhi (Stride Ventures), Shashikant Dola (McKinsey & Company), Tushar Mehndiratta (Avail Finance), Vadiraj Kulkarni (CEO, ITC PSPD) and some others.

Based out of Mumbai, Bold Finance is founded by IIT Roorkee alumni, Nikhil Jain and Durgesh Suthar, who have collective work experience in stellar organisations such as ITC, McKinsey and Flipkart, xto10x respectively. Bold Finance was started with a broad vision of enabling financial freedom for Bharat, by improving credit availability for users from the lower and middle-income segments of tier-two and tier-three cities. Bold Finance’s first offering is gold loans.

Nikhil Jain, co-founder, Bold Finance, said, “Gold loan is mostly a distress or a working capital loan, wherein customers need it urgently. In such a situation, ease of access in hyper-local neighbourhoods, longer operating hours, and low-interest rates are paramount to customers. Bold Finance is smartly placed to cater to such customers and deliver safe, fast and trusted loans in the market."

Currently, 65% of the $130 billion gold loan market is unorganised and managed by pawnbrokers, money lenders, jewellers, HNIs etc. In the unorganised market, customers have a bad user experience owing to high-interest rates (>30%), no documentation, and lack of transparency. Bold Finance is building a tech platform and operations layer that empowers jewellers to work with multiple banks to dispense loans in a regulated manner and grow their businesses sustainably. These jewellers operate as Bold Finance branches. The benefits to customers are low-interest rates, easy access to capital, transparency, and convenient repayments via mobile app. Operating costs of Bold Finance branches are significantly lower in comparison to its peers, thus further passing on these benefits to end customers in the form of lower interest rates.

For Bold Finance, the cost and time required to start a new branch are 60x lower than its competitors. Their unique business model of placing themselves between banks, jewellers and customers allows them to achieve deeper penetration and wider geographical reach in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This has allowed the company to aggressively open 50+ branches in Mumbai suburbs within a short span of 7 months.

Durgesh Suthar, co-founder, Bold Finance, added, “We are building a distributed finance tech platform which allows us to scale to multiple branches while having robust de-risking mechanisms across the stakeholders such as partner branches, customers, logistics etc. by analysing multiple data points."

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