Home / Companies / Start-ups /  NABARD fund makes first investment in fintech startup Jai Kisan

BENGALURU: NABVENTURES Fund I, the investment arm of agriculture and rural development institution Nabard has made its maiden investment in Mumbai-based rural fintech startup Jai Kisan as part of a 30 crore funding round.

The pre-Series A round of funding was led by Arkam Ventures (formerly Unitary Helion) along with participation from existing investors Blume Ventures, Prophetic Ventures and Better Capital. Other investors including The Chatterjee Group (TCG), Rajiv Sahney of New Vernon Capital LLC and Sanjay Mariwala of OmniActive Health Technologies also invested as a part of this round.

NABVENTURES was launched in May last year with a proposed corpus of over 500 crore.

Jai Kisan plans to invest the capital to hire across roles in operations and process management, as well as invest in its technology platform, as it looks to provide newer financial services offerings.

Founded by Arjun Ahluwalia and Adriel Maniego, Jai Kisan is a technology platform which focuses on providing credit as well as a suite of financial products to the rural economy. It partners with equipment dealers, agriculture retailers, collection centers and market linkage platforms, to directly provide credit to farmers, working in the agriculture, poultry and dairy value chain.

“Adriel and I started Jai Kisan to facilitate rightly priced credit (and other financial services) to rural borrowers. Over the past few months, we have built a diverse book while ensuring delivery of credit instantly and more importantly – cheaply, across 10 states including the most backward parts of the country." said Arjun Ahluwalia, co-founder and CEO of Jai Kisan.

These direct loans to farmers also helps them to build their credit profile and history, easing access to direct loans and financial services for them in the future, he said.

In the last six months, Jai Kisan said it has disbursed over 50 crore in working capital loans to more than 5500 farmers across various income groups from 10 states.

The interest rates for loans provided by Jai Kisan stands at 16%-18%, with the company currently partnering with 3 banks and 5 NBFCs including Avanti Finance, which is backed by Ratan Tata and Nandan Nilekani.

“Very few startups have the commanding view of a large untapped space. Even fewer startups have the luxury of tail winds in these challenging times. Jai Kisan is a rare combination of both of the above along with a unique business model that adds value to multiple participants of the agri supply chain", said Rahul Chandra, Managing Director of Arkam Ventures.

“We appreciate the efforts of Jai Kisan to emerge as a frontline agri/rural fintech player on the strength of its tech prowess, low cost of operations along with reasonable security levels," said G.R. Chintala, chairman, Nabard.

Jai Kisan has also been disbursing close to 8 -12 crore in credit on a monthly basis, with average ticket sizes ranging from 50,000 to 1 lakh.

“Jai Kisan is charting a new course in agri-rural digital lending. Even in a covid scenario, it has delivered stellar growth. NABVENTURES would continue to back such tech-driven agri/rural startups which are at the forefront of agri/rural transformation in India,"said Rajesh Ranjan, CEO of NABVENTURES.

Jai Kisan is also working closely with banking partners to expand their offerings of insurance and saving products to farmers in the rural economy. In the next 6-8 months, it plans to expand its services to eastern and north-eastern parts of India and take the total loan book size to 150 crore.

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