Bengaluru: Bengaluru-based fintech startup NIRA, a leading lender to blue and grey collared workers, today announced that it has raised $1 million from its existing angel investors. With this latest round, the total funds NIRA has raised amounts to a little over $4 million. The funding will give NIRA’s growth plans an immediate boost and help with rapid and timely scaling of technology and lending volumes, on the back of strong demand and a robust credit performance over the last few months.
To take advantage of the strong position they had established for themselves due to their robust performance through COVID, NIRA initially sought $ 0.5 million from its investors to invest in growth. They were quickly oversubscribed and received a total of $1 million, which is a testimony to the faith and confidence that existing investors have in them. A further vote of confidence was given by Techstars, the US-based seed accelerator which had selected NIRA for its program in 2019, in the form of a follow-on investment in the company. This is the first such follow-on investment that Techstars has made in any company in India.
NIRA continued to lend to both existing and new customers through the COVID-19 induced lockdown which had caused severe economic distress across society, especially for the working class. Strong underwriting fundamentals, a deep understanding of the credit and risk business and a sturdy collection system ensured that they performed above industry average during this difficult economic environment. Indeed, only 2% of their loans wereplaced in moratorium during this period, and their collection rates have exceeded 97% for the last two months, signifying a return to pre-COVID period normalcy.
Co-founded by ex-Goldman Sachs colleagues Rohit Sen and Nupur Gupta, NIRA offers access to credit to working class Indians at their time of need and is a leading lending partner for the lower middle classes. The company offers loans of up to Rs. 1 lakh for up to 1 year, via its app-based credit line and has customers in every state of India.
“The credit portfolio and the team have performed excellently during COVID, so now we want to build on this strong foundation and expand the scale of our business. We have had robust growth in the last few months and are already at 400% of our pre-COVID volumes. This extra funding will allow us to further invest in our technology, analytics, and strengthen our team as we build for scale”, said Rohit Sen, CEO and co-founder of NIRA.