Mumbai: Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal on Wednesday forayed into the financial services business by acquiring a majority stake in Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Pvt. Ltd (CRIDS), a non-banking financial company (NBFC), for ₹739 crore.
CRIDS, a Bengaluru-based micro-lender, was founded by Anand Rao and Samit Shetty. It provides access to credit for the underbanked population. It also offers loans for two-wheelers, housing, small business and education.
Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services has operations in five states—Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
“This acquisition is our entry into financial services," Bansal said in a statement. “Samit and Anand have built a great company that provides much needed financial access to people who don’t have access to other formal finance. I look forward to working closely with Samit and Anand and building further on the solid work they have done," he added.
Bansal will assume the role of chief executive of CRIDS. Both the founders will continue with their respective roles of growing the existing business segments.
Existing business units at Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services will continue to operate without any significant change in management, according to the statement.
“Sachin brings with him the ability of building huge scale grounds up to CRIDS," said Shetty, co-founder of CRIDS.
“We are looking forward to benefiting from his insights and experience with technology, and how that can be leveraged for improving access to financial services, financial inclusion and making our business better, more sustainable and customer-centric," he added.
Since leaving Flipkart in 2018, Bansal has been investing his wealth into various startups and lending institutions, largely in the form of debt.
Mint reported on 14 July that Bansal has invested ₹200 crore in debt paper issued by Piramal Enterprises Ltd.
Bansal’s loan to Piramal Enterprises followed investments by him in debt deals worth more than $100 million.
In February, Mint reported that the co-founder of e-commerce major Flipkart has invested ₹250 crore each, via debt, in NBFCs Altico Capital India Ltd and IndoStar Capital Finance Ltd.
The investment was made through BAC Acquisitions Pvt. Ltd, the holding company Bansal started with investment banker Ankit Agarwal. In May, Bansal invested $3 million each in debt in two scooter-sharing startups Vogo and Bounce.
Besides the debt deals, he has invested $100 million in Ola and has led a $51 million funding round in electric vehicle maker Ather Energy.
Bansal made more than $1 billion by selling his 5.5% stake in Flipkart during the $16 billion Walmart-Flipkart deal in 2018