Online SME lending firm Capital Float today said it has acquired Pune-based Thumbworks Technologies, which owns and operates personal finance management app Walnut, for US$30 million (~ Rs.210 crore) in a cash and stock deal.
With about 25% of Capital Float's business coming from consumer finance and the rest from SME lending, Capital Float said that the acquisition would further help its foray into the consumer finance space. With the acquisition, Capital Float will acquire 35 members from Pune-based Thumbworks Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns Walnut, bringing its total team strength to 650.

Founded in 2014, by former Motorola Mobility executives - Amit Bhor and Patanjali Somayaji, Walnut is a smart personal digital assistant that analyzes the SMS inbox of users to surface important and critical information, including expenses, bills, and tickets. It does not look at or analyze personal messages coming from 10-digit mobile numbers and is designed to view only the messages coming from businesses such as banks and merchants.

In 2016, Walnut added former ICICI Bank Deputy General Manager, Anurag Sinha, as Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer.

Backed by prominent investors including SAIF Partners and Sequoia capital, among others, the app has seen 7 million downloads in India, that helps users to automatically track spends, bank and card balances, bill payments, and split expenses within a group, in just a few clicks.

With an average rating of 4.4/5, Walnut was recently featured in Google Editor’s Choice list of top 5 financial applications.

Among Walnut's most well-received products is Walnut Prime, which provides small-ticket, app-based credit line for its users. Launched in July 2017, Walnut Prime recently crossed Rs 100 crore in loans to users.

"Another thing that sold us on Walnut was its offering "Prime Credit Score." Unlike traditional credit metrics, Walnut's prime credit score looks alternate data sets like one’s income, purchase behaviour, earning capacity and security savings. It also looks at spending pattern via e-commerce sites, wallets, shopping, food, bills etc. We felt their product offering was unique and would benefit us; giving us a 360 degree view of what customers need," said Sashank Rishyasringa, co-founder, Capital Float.

“Since we launched Walnut, we have been focused on simplifying personal finance for our users. We’re excited to partner with Capital Float as we aim to exponentially grow Walnut. Capital Float's strength in the online lending space will bring us a whole new set of opportunities," said Patanjali Somayaji, cofounder, Walnut.

Capital Float cofounder Gaurav Hinduja said this was also a talent merger and the entire team of Walnut would be absorbed in Capital Float. "We disburse Rs 250 crore per month in loans to more than 1.25 lakh customers. By FY19, we hope to disburse more than Rs 5,000 crore -- over and above current disbursals.," he added.

Source - Times of India

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