Delhi-based Progcap, a technology-driven lending startup for last mile businesses, has raised a seed funding round of ₹ 7 Crores led by GrowX ventures, a leading B2B and deep tech-focused early-stage venture fund. Progcap’s mission is to empower these customers by providing them affordable and timely credit, leveraging world-class technology. Apart from GrowX, Contrarian Drishti, along with angel investors Somak Ghosh and Abhishek Dalmia, participated in the round.
Progcap (Desiderata Impact Ventures) is an inclusive financing technology firm working to disrupt the market for credit for last mile businesses through a mix of technology and alternative data driven credit scoring. Through its Last Mile Retailer Finance Facility, Progcap provides the under banked, semi-urban and rural retailers in India access to flexible, collateral-free working capital.
The startup was founded by Pallavi Shrivastava and Himanshu Chandra in 2017 after years of working on the ground with small businesses in their respective jobs. Pallavi has a background in development finance having worked in organizations including International Finance Corporation and the World Bank. Himanshu’s experience spans over a decade in the financial services industry, with institutions such as Standard Chartered, Barclays and Carlyle Group.
Commenting on the fundraise, the company’s founders said, “Our vision is to broaden the opportunities for businesses in the last mile. There are over 20 million retailers in India who are unplugged from formal financing. We are working towards building a platform to integrate these businesses into the real economy.” The team added, “It’s been a terrific partnership with GrowX. They have helped us tremendously in broadening the vision for the Company while also helping build key partnerships.”
Through its Last Mile Retailer Finance facility (LMRF), Progcap provides access to fast and flexible collateral-free, working capital to retailers in Tier II, III and IV towns, where retailers typically face challenges in accessing capital for their businesses. Over half of Progcap’s customers are new to the credit ecosystem. Progcap’s lending platform risk models these businesses using non-traditional ecosystem data creating credit scores for customers that are currently left out by the traditional financial institutions.
Speaking about the investment, Manu Rikhye, Partner at GrowX ventures, said, “Pallavi and Himanshu are an outstanding team, and GrowX is very excited to be part of their journey. Progcap is focused on a very large and underserved market of micro-business owners. Their approach to solving the financial needs of the last mile retailers will deliver tremendous value across the supply chain, starting from the large brands and distributors to the retailers.”
GrowX is a B2B and deep tech focused early-stage venture fund, which works closely with investee firms at both strategic and operational levels to drive scale and success. Its investments are focused on seed and pre-Series A stages across a wide range of sectors. GrowX has invested in over 25 companies, including Doxper, Fynd, Locus, Mad Street Den, Quandl, Wellthy Therapeutics, and Ziploan among others.