Mumbai-based Alteria Capital, a Venture Debt fund focussed on innovative startups, has has made its single largest investment of ₹ 80 crore (~ $11.46 Mn) in digital lending firm Lendingkart, marking one of the largest startup venture debt transactions in India.

The investment, made in the non-banking financial (NBFC) arm of Ledingkart, is also the largest fundraise by the startup, which was founded by Harshvardhan Lunia and Mukul Sachan in 2014.

Lendingkart, which operates through two divisions -- Lendingkart Finance, a NBFC entity, and Lendingkart Technologies. The company focusses on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the ability to service deals pan-India.

Vinod Murali, managing partner, Alteria Capital, said in a statement to a business daily, "The last few quarters have witnessed a lot of volatility in the NBFC space but the companies which have robust underwriting platforms and a strong equity cushion have been able to turn this into an opportunity for growth. While liquidity has not been easily available for the broader market, Lendingkart has grown sharply during this phase."

Venture debt is an alternative form of financing for startups which helps augment equity capital. It enables founders to reduce dilution and improve their ownership as it is predominantly in the form of debt with a small equity kicker.

Based out of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Lendingkart group has raised a total of about $167 Mn in funding over eight rounds including the latest one. The startup counts Singapore's Fullerton Financial Holdings, State Bank of India, Sistema Asia and Mayfield among its investors.

Lendingkart with other players including Capital Float, Neogrowth and IndiaLends, that offer small ticket-size loans, mostly unsecured credit, to borrowers with limited credit history.

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