Bangalore-based NIRA, a consumer finance fintech venture focused on financial inclusion, has raised $1 million seed funding from angel investors in the UK and India. Launched last year, NIRA provides small credit to consumers with limited access to traditional avenues of finance,

NIRA will use the latest funding to accelerate building out the core team and technology to drive the initial growth of the business.

Founded in 2017, by former Goldman Sachs colleagues Rohit Sen and Nupur Gupta (IIT Delhi), NIRA went live in May and focuses on promoting financial inclusion by providing small credit of up to ₹1 lakh for up to one year through transparent products that empower individuals to live a life of choice and freedom. Delivery will be via a mobile app and webpage. The core proposition is that it allows users credit anytime, anywhere.

NIRA is aimed at solving a major consumer finance issue in India wherein banks typically require credit scores, thereby precluding over 80% of the Indian population immediately. NIRA, as a digital consumer lender has envisaged a method by combining new types of digital data with traditional forms which then allows to do assessment of a user's credit worthiness even if they don't have a credit score.

The startup has partnered with Federal Bank to provide loans to consumers at interest rates ranging from 1.5% cent to 2.25% a month, depending on the consumer's risk score. Loans are repayable over 3-12 months.

In a statement, Rohit Sen, co-founder and CEO, NIRA told, “The need of the hour is small sized loans because consumers who earn ₹20,000 –30,000 a month find it very difficult to get loans from banks which expect a good CIBIL score and collateral. We are targeting consumers who are in the early part of their careers who earn modest salaries.".

To apply for credit, the consumer needs to be an Indian citizen, have a college degree, be working for a minimum of six months and earn a salary of ₹20,000 a month. To get started, the required details have to be filled on the NIRA app or website. Once the consumer has qualified for credit, the required documents - most recent payslip, bank statements for the last six months and Aadhaar number - can be uploaded. After the documents are verified, they can get the loan.

“We have been refining our product and strategy over the past few months and our focus will now be on executing our strategy and scaling the size and reach of our operations” said Sen.

Earlier this month, an another digital lending startup, RevFin, had raised an undisclosed amount in the seed funding round from a group of angel investors. RevFin was founded by former HSBC executive Sameer Aggarwal.

Last Month, Mumbai headquartered micro-lending platform Upwards Fintech Pvt. Ltd. had raised $5 million in series A round of funding led by China's ShunWei Capital.

Source - Business Line

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