The Angel money is beginning to eek into the Indian peer-to-peer lending space.
A nascent sector in global terms, India plays host to two main peer-to-peer lenders – Faircent and i-lend. The platforms exhibit structural features that will be familiar to observers of the UK industry. Faircent kicked off operations in July – and lends both to consumers and small businesses. The platform’s bidding engine helps investors to determine interest rates, and match-makes between lenders and borrowers. Faircent sorts borrowers into categories based on the loan purpose, amount and term.
And now this pioneer from far-afield has raised some angel funding in order to ramp up activity. Devesh Sachdev and Ashish Tiwari (Founders of Fusion Microfinance) have fueled the young platform with an undisclosed amount of funding. Reports say that the round values Faircent at approximately $4 million.
Rajat Gandhi, Founder and CEO of the platform, explained:
“We wanted our initial set of investors to be from the banking and finance industry who would bring synergy to our operations through their experience and network. Devesh and Ashish are seasoned professionals from the microfinance industry.”
In the wake of the Lending Club IPO, and of the dizzying profits made by the platform’s early stage investors, we’ll expect to see more investments of this kind taking place in early 2015. VCs and Angels everywhere are on the hunt for fledgling P2P platforms with the capacity to one day dominate an international market in the way that Lending Club has in the US.