P2P platform Faircent recently raised Rs 25 crore (3.9m USD) in a funding round, led by Incofin Investment Management, which saw participation from all of Faircent’s existing investors – JM Financial, 3one4 Capital, M&S Partners Pte Ltd, and Aarin Capital – as well as six new investors.
“Faircent provides an efficient and dynamic platform to directly connect lenders with varied profiles of borrowers. Using a comprehensive credit technology, Faircent eliminates substantial costs thereby offering attractive rates of interest for lenders as well as borrowers”, explains Aditya Bhandari, Co-head Asia of Incofin Investment Management. “We are excited about Faircent’s potential to collaborate with the underserved small & medium entrepreneurs by offering affordable and transparent financial products.”
Rajat Gandhi, Founder and CEO of Faircent, finds these are exciting times for P2P lending in India. “Faircent is here to unleash the power of retail lending. As India’s largest platform, being backed by marquee investors, and the fact that the RBI has come out with progressive guidelines for the sector, is a great validation of Faircent’s business model”, he explains. “Moreover, with P2P lending, the financial market is all set to witness the creation of a totally new asset class.”
Ever since its inception, Faircent has been at the forefront of India’s online P2P lending revolution, leveraging cutting-edge technology to build a platform that facilitates easier access to credit for the country’s unbanked and under-banked segments. Faircent leverages automation extensively to deliver its unique value proposition and drive an unparalleled user experience for lenders and borrowers. One such innovative tool offered by the platform is the Auto Invest feature, a fully-automated feature that matches a lender’s investment criteria with the borrower’s requirements and automatically sends proposals to the borrower on behalf of the lender, based on pre-selected lending criteria such as loan tenure, amount, and risk profile.
According to Mohandas Pai, co-founder Aarin Capital and Advisor to Faircent.com, the company has done a terrific job of balancing the multi-dimensional value proposition of P2P lending to consumers – both an easy and affordable credit option, as well as offering them a high-yield asset class that can easily compete with more traditional investments. “The team is now strongly positioned to work alongside the new regulations and lead this revolution in the space. We are happy to continue working with the team to help it leverage its learnings and advanced workflows to grow the market for all the stakeholders involved”, said Pai.
India’s online P2P lending market attained a level of maturity in 2017, with various factors such as the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines on the sector, the proliferation of digital transactions, the development of financial technologies, and the lack of access to credit contributing to its rise. The sector’s inclusion into a larger regulatory ambit will help steer strong growth and expansion for players, helping them gain greater traction in the mainstream financial market, and strengthening confidence among borrowers and investors. With P2P lending companies now being regulated as NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies), more and more investors are looking to be a part of this success story. This enables leading industry players like Faircent to scale up their technological and operational capabilities, and benefit from the massive market opportunity that comes with extending financial inclusion to the last Indian citizen.
In addition to simplifying access to credit for individuals, Faircent has radically improved the access to finance for SMEs by facilitating loans and reducing costs by connecting them to individual and institutional lenders. By leveraging latest technologies and the ubiquity of smartphones, the platform enables small businesses to benefit from its innovative and convenient credit products. Through Faircent, MSME borrowers can apply for loans online within a few minutes, select their preferred repayment terms, and receive funds in their bank accounts within 2-3 days.