Microlending startup Upwards raises ₹36 crores in series A led by Shunwei

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Mumbai-based microlending startup Upwards Fintech has raised around ₹36 crores ($5 million) in series A round led by Chinese venture capital firm Shunwei Capital. The round also saw participation from existing investors including Mayfield and India Quotient.

The funds raised will be used to boost its technology and data science capabilities, as it expands to more cities.

Upwards was founded by IIT Delhi graduates Abhishek Soni and Nimesh Verma in 2017. This fintech startup provides a platform to offer quick personal loans to salaried individuals. It provides a completely paperless process to disburse loans up to ₹50,000 within 24 hours.

The startup sources data from various channels and utilizes around 500 data points to create a reliable credit report for its users. Upwards is currently available in more than 30 cities across India, including, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, and Jaipur.

Upwards disburses its loans through non-banking finance company called Bajranj Investments Pvt Ltd. It also claims to have non-performing assets of less than 1%.

With an active user base of 2,50,000, the startup claims to have disbursed loans worth ₹4 crores since November 2017. It is further looking to target a loan book of ₹100 crores in the next year.

“The mobile disruption occurring in India today is very similar to what happened in China eight years back. While India’s fintech industry is still very young, Upwards has exhibited tremendous growth since its inception over a year back,” Tuck Lye Koh, Chief Executive Officer at Shunwei Capital said in a statement.

Other fintech players competing with Upwards in the personal loans segment include LoanTap, InstaPaisa, EarlySalary, MoneyTap, Olly Credit, and Flex Salary, among many others.

Recently, digital lending startup Bon raised around ₹7.8 crores in seed funding led by Omidyar Network, along with participation from Axilor Ventures and Better Capital’s AngelList India Syndicate.

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