Pune, India, 29th August 2022: India’s largest consumer lending fintech, EarlySalary, has closed its series D funding round of $110 million led by TPG’s The Rise Fund and Norwest Venture Partners. Existing investor Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Limited also participated in the round. This is EarlySalary’s largest fundraise to date, following the company’s last financing round in 2019. The company had raised $34 million in previous rounds from Eight Roads, Chiratae Ventures, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Limited and angel investors. The latest investment will enable Fibe to grow its business significantly in the next 24 months. The series D round of $110 million includes a secondary sale. Unitus Capital acted as the exclusive advisor for the transaction.
Founded in Pune in 2015, Fibe provides accessible financial lending solutions of up to Rs. 5 lakhs to working professionals. The company expanded into the affordability segment and introduced Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services to its customer segment with a clear focus on education, health and consumer product financing. Over the course of its journey, Fibe expanded its services to over 150 cities and aims to continue growing its customer base.
Fibe’s core purpose is to provide a financial ecosystem for young and aspirational individuals. 80% of Indians use banking services, however, almost 50% of the Indian population doesn’t have access to credit due to various reasons. The focus of Fibe is to provide a safe and reliable credit platform to the underserved population, primarily in Tier 3 and 4 cities, at affordable rates.
Fibe’s comprehensive suite of products includes personal loans payable in EMIs over multiple tenures. The company will continue to expand its BNPL segment and build out an extensive network of partners across the healthcare and edtech segments.
To create a superior customer and product experience, the company will continue to focus on enhancing its tech and analytics frameworks while delivering a high degree of transparency, risk management and customer centricity to achieve its growth plan. In the last six months, Fibe has added key executives across risk, sales, treasury and other functions to strengthen its management team.
The company has rapidly expanded its presence from 18 cities to over 150 cities and increased its customer base to 12 million app downloads with approximately 1 million customers. It has grown 7x over the last two years and emerged as a market leader in providing financial assistance to young middle-income individuals across the country. The business continues to be profitable over the pandemic and expects to grow manifold in the future.
Commenting on this funding, Akshay Mehrotra, Co-founder and CEO said, “We believe in a customer-first approach to providing credit to young middle-income Indians and we are thankful for the trust millions of Indians have put in us. As our customers’ aspirations and credit needs grow, we will focus to continue to retain their trust and grow with them. The funding will not only help us in expanding our cash business but also build an array of capabilities to efficiently serve a larger segment of customers. We are confident in our ability to keep innovating and achieving 10x large growth in our customer base.”
Ashish Goyal, Co-Founder and CFO said, “Fibe’s core purpose is to enable financial services access to its core segments. This capital raise enables us to grow and meet our customer aspirations. We believe that we will be able to add significant value to the fintech ecosystem. This capital raise from two of the most marquee investors is also a validation of our core principles of building a business that is customer-focused, profitable and driving meaningful gains in financial inclusion.”
Akshay Tanna, Partner at TPG said, “Through its innovative platform, Fibe delivers a critical financial service to the growing, yet underserved, middle-income segment in India. By providing modest, short-duration loans at competitive rates, Fibe is improving the financial health of its customer base and empowering them to finance things like upskilling courses, healthcare needs, personal emergencies, and short-term cash flow mismatches. Akshay and Ashish have built a world-class team and a market-leading product that is poised to continue to meet the needs of India’s rising middle class and we are delighted to be a part of its next chapter of growth.”
Financial inclusion is a core focus of The Rise Funds’ multi-sector global impact investing strategy. The Rise Funds have invested in several financial technology companies that are building a more inclusive financial system around the world including Varo in the US, Duxiaoman in China, and Airtel Money in Africa.
Niren Shah, MD at Norwest Venture Partners said “We are delighted to partner with Akshay and Ashish at Fibe, who have built one of India’s leading, profitable and scalable consumer fintech platforms. Digital lending is emerging as one of the fastest-growing fintech segments in India and we believe that Fibe is well-positioned to serve the credit needs of millions of underserved but aspirational Indians. Fibe’s strong growth has been driven by a world-class technology, analytics and governance platform, which has resulted in exceptional credit underwriting and asset quality.”
With the recent digital guidelines by RBI, Fibe believes that the ecosystem is also enabling an innovative and constructive environment to grow its digital footprint and digital way of banking. Fibe aims to expand operations across verticals and targets to reach millions of customers. It aims to build a significant presence in the impact categories of providing cash loans to young Indians, salary advances to corporate employees and an ecosystem to provide avenues like BNPL to its customers.
About The Rise Funds
The Rise Funds are a core pillar of TPG Rise, TPG’s global impact investing platform. Founded in 2016 by TPG in partnership with Bono and Jeff Skoll, The Rise Funds invest behind impact entrepreneurs and growth-stage, high potential, mission-driven companies that are focused on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Rise Funds deliver capabilities and expertise across a wide variety of sectors and countries at scale, focusing on opportunities in climate and conservation, education, food and agriculture, financial inclusion, healthcare, and impact services. With approximately $15 billion in assets across The Rise Funds, TPG Rise Climate, and the Evercare Health Fund, the TPG Rise platform is the world’s largest private markets impact investing platform committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns. For more information, visit therisefund.com or @therisefund on Instagram.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest Venture Partners is a global, multi-stage investment firm that manages approximately $ 12.5 billion in assets and has funded more than 650 companies in the last six decades. Norwest Venture Partners is focused on early to mid-stage venture capital and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including Fintech, Insurance, Consumer-tech, B2B, SaaS, Healthcare, Logistics, etc. Some of the prominent investments in India include Swiggy, OfBusiness, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Five Star, NSE, Vastu Housing, IndusInd Bank, SK Finance, Mintifi, Xpressbees, Amagi, Thyrocare, Duroflex, MENSA, etc. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco, India, and Israel. For more information, visit www.nvp.com.
About Fibe (Formerly EarlySalary)
Fibe is India’s leading consumer lending app focused on young, aspirational and tech-savvy Indian consumers. It is building a financial ecosystem that enables the mid-income group to fulfil their aspirations. It has launched a host of financial products like Cash Loans, long-term Personal Loans and Buy Now Pay Later plans. It offers a 100% digital loan application process that takes just seconds to complete. Fibe has grown multifold over the last 2 years and emerged as a market leader in providing financial assistance to young middle-income group in India. The company has already disbursed nearly 2.8 million loans worth Rs. 7,500 crores.