Bangalore-based digital consumer lending startup HappyEMI today announced it has secured USD 1 million (₹7 crores) from AJ Ventures, JAN and Anand Sankeshwar, Managing Director of VRL Logistics. The funding will be used to further broaden the reach of consumer digital loans at point-of-sale across new geographies as well as venture into lending for education, healthcare services and further increase its reach of no cost equal monthly installments loans for consumer durables like smartphones and televisions. The funding will also be utilized to strengthen HappyEMI’s unique technology platform based on India stack to disrupt point-of-sale consumer lending by catering to aspirations of millennials across India.

Founded by Anmol Vij and Suhas Gopinath in 2017, HappyEMI is a consumer lending platform at point-of-sale (PoS) in offline retail stores. HappyEMI offers no-cost EMI to finance smartphones and electronics at point-of-sale, and we monetise through retailer's commission and OEM subvention.

HappyEMI’s claims to have an edge over others through its data-driven approach that underwrites risk beyond credit score to reach broader consumer base by using alternative data points and has signed up major retail brands in categories such as Mobile, Consumer Durables, Home Improvement, & Car Accessories.

Smartphones and feature phones penetration is rising across India including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where aspiration for owning consumer electronics like smartphones, televisions, laptops, air conditioners, refrigerators is on rise. There are over 478 million mobile internet users in India according to latest IAMAI report and millennials are digital natives who are disrupting traditional industries as well as services including embracing ecommerce, digital payments and digital lending for their aspirational needs including upgrading to latest gadget or consumer durable. The financing options available to millennials include credit cards, e-wallets that offer cash backs and no cost equal monthly installments. According to the latest consumer survey, almost 70 percent of smartphone buyers utilize non-cash modes to finance their purchase. It is this huge opportunity of digital lending that HappyEMI will be disrupting and participating in. Digital Lending is slated to be almost 1 trillion US dollars marketplace in India over course of next five years according to a report by Boston Consulting Group.

HappyEMI disrupts digital lending by providing shoppers with instant financing including no-cost based equal monthly installments at the point-of-sale in stores such as Sangeetha Mobiles, Poorvika, Happi Mobiles and over 500 independent retail stores thereby making the lending process winning proposition for both stores as well as consumers. HappyEMI’s intuitive platform is CIBIL independent which makes the lending process almost paperless with minimal human involvement at a point-of-sale where it originates loans in the retail stores and assesses credit risk in 15 minutes.

HappyEMI utilizes data-driven approach to underwrite risk beyond credit score to reach consumer base by using alternative data points like salary profile, bank account details, UPI Profile and social media. HappyEMI’s proposition helps its retail partners to improve sales conversions and boost their overall sales ticket size and increase customer happiness. To begin disrupting the lending market in India HappyEMI has already serviced over 10,000 customers as well as added 1000 point-of-sale retail partners.

HappyEMI has also partnered with manufacturers like Oppo, Vivo, Karbonn, Symphony Air Coolers, Samsung to originate point-of-sale lending at attractive rates. HappyEMI has a presence across Bangalore, Hassan, Mysore, Belgaum, Hubli, Dharwad, Tumkur, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Warangal, Guntur, Mangalore, Vijayawada, and Vizag.

“We are building digital lending ecosystem for Indian consumers at point-of-sale and are now focusing on Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to further broaden our reach and give consumers access to wide variety of point-of-sale loans through our intuitive platform that is CIBIL independent and looks at other data points such as salary and social media profile,” said Suhas Gopinath, Founder and CEO of HappyEMI. “Millennials across India are digital natives with huge appetite for consumer durables and seek instant gratification through their purchases and our startup has unique proposition for both consumers as well as merchants through our unique digital lending platform,” further commented Gopinath.

HappyEMI is present in over 1000+ stores now for point-of-sale lending, we have introduced defensive strategies to ensure we get retail partners push and exclusivity, and have expanded to Chennai, Mangalore, Mysore, Hassan, Belgaum, Pune, etc. Currently, we are adding a new city every week and growing at about 5% every week. Our NPA stands at less than 2% and we are in the process of applying for our own NBFC or acquire one. We want converge loyalty and lending using point-of-sale lending platform similar to in the US.

Recent Investments in Lending Startups

Last month, Mumbai-based online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup RupeeCircle received Rs 4 crore (around $588,000) in seed funding from Mahindra Finance, which is a non-banking financial company (NBFC) under Mahindra Group.

In the same month, Bangalore-based Kinara Capital raised Rs 32 crore in non-convertible debentures from Zurich,Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments, an asset manager which specialises in debt and equity financing for private firms.

In November last year, Paytm invested undisclosed amount in CreditMate, a Mumbai-based lending startup addressing the market for loans against two-wheelers through their partner dealer network for customers who might be new to credit.

In last couple of years, startups in P2P lending sector too are consistently raising funds. Few startup in P2P lending segment include Delhi-based Faircent, Delhi-based, Mumbai-based Finzy, Bengaluru-based Cashkumar, Monexo Fintech, BigWin Infotech, along with OML Technologies, among many others.

In April, Mumbai based, an another P2P Lending marketplace raised US$650K of seed funding round followed by $225K of second seed funding through angel investment, in May this year.

In March, US-based digital payment company Wibmo Inc acquired Gurgaon-based mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment solution startup Mypoolin in a cash and stock deal valued above $1 million.

Prior to this, Faircent, touted as India's largest P2P lending company, raised Rs. 25 crore in a high-profile funding round led by Incofin Investment Management with participation from its existing investors.

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