startup funding

China’s ShunWei Leads $5 Mn Investment in Mumbai-based Upwards, A Micro-Lending Platform

China's ShunWei Leads $5 Mn Investment in Mumbai-based Upwards, A Micro-Lending Platform

In yet another Chinese investment in Indian startup, ShunWei Capital has led the $5 million series A financing round of Mumbai headquartered micro-lending platform Upwards Fintech Pvt. Ltd. Existing investors Mayfield and India Quotient also participated in this round.

The funding from Beijing-based Vc firm comes within few weeks after the Chinese Vc firm has led the $5 million funding of Vokal, a vernacular peer-to-peer (P2P) knowledge-sharing platform co-founded by TaxiforSure co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna.

Upwards will use the freshly raised funds to strengthen its technology and data science capabilities and expand to more cities. It is currently present in 30 cities in Tier-1 and Tier-2 towns including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

Founded in 2017 by IIT Delhi graduates Abhishek Soni and Nimesh Verma, Upwards Fintech provides formal financing to blue-collar and grey-collar employees with incomes in the range of Rs 10,000-Rs 25,000/month. Available in 30+ cities, Upwards loans offered are in the range of Rs 10,000-Rs 1,00,000 over a tenure of 3-24 months and interest rate of 2-4% per month. Mode of application, loan sanction and loan agreement signing is completely digital and done via mobile app.

“Our objective is to cherry-pick a few profiles and then build a virtuous loop around such a profile so that we are able to optimise our customer acquisition cost, underwrite our loans better, and build a resilient portfolio,” said co-founder Abhishek.

Madhukar Sinha, partner at India Quotient, said on investment in Upwards, “Having seen the micro-finance boom India first-hand, I am excited by the large market opportunity Upwards is targeting.”

“The mobile disruption occurring in India today is very similar to what happened in China eight years back. While India’s fintech industry is still very young, Upwards has exhibited tremendous growth since its inception over a year back,” Tuck Lye Koh, CEO at Shunwei Capital said in a statement.

Beside Upwards, Shunwei Capital has invested in number of Indian startups including Clip App, a Bengaluru-based digital media video startup, and Truebil, a curated marketplace for pre-owned cars.

Shunwei also led a $6.25 million (Rs 43 crore) funding round for Pune-based online lending startup LoanTap, and participated in a $30 million Series B round raised by, an auto insurance search engine, in November last year that was led by China Capital Group Ltd. A month before that, Shunwei along with Xiaomi Technologies led an $8 million Series A round for Bangalore-based microlending platform KrazyBee.

Shunwei Capital was founded in 2011 by Jun Lei and Tuck Lye KOH and manages over 2 billion in US dollars across five funds. Shunwei’s key focus is on mobile internet and IoT.

Via – LiveMint,

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Suman Chaudhary
An engineer by education and writer by profession, Suman keeps tab on startup ecosystem of India and leads the research team of IndiaWeb2 for covering funding deals, merger & acquisition and market reports.

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