ePayLater a startup in the SME- credit space has raised $ 10 million in their Series B round from Responsibility Investments AG , Blue Ashva Capital, Pravega Ventures and other investors. Previously, the startup had raised from Pravega Ventures, ICICI Bank and Japan’s GMO Global Fintech Fund.
ePayLater provides a zero cost credit solution to SMEs spread across 100+ cities in the country and has disbursed over Rs 1000 crores in facilitating inventory purchases. The company works closely with B2B majors like Walmart, Metro Cash and Carry, BigBasket etc and also directly with large FMCG brands. This solution is available to retailers across physical and digital sales channels and empowers SMEs to purchase inventory across product categories at the best available prices without being constrained for credit. It also helps reduce trust deficit that typifies digital B2B commerce as buyer obligation to pay arises only after goods are physically received, with a further period of 14 days of interest free credit.
For the suppliers to the retailers, this helps to unblock capital, eliminate risks and collection overheads, and most importantly, it helps in boosting the sales. Historically, ePayLater was the first company in India to launch BNPL model in the B2C segment partnering with many marquee names including Indian Railways (IRCTC) to offer BNPL to consumers. It was also one of the first companies to partner with Banks like ICICI Bank to offer pay later services and also one of the first pioneers to offer BNPL on UPI rails in partnership with IDFC Bank.
The company plans to use the funds to reach out to more customers and retailers across locations, and enhance the offering to become a one-stop-solution for all financing needs of the small businesses – wholesalers/traders/kiranas. A solution like ePayLater helps to bring small-scale retailers into the mainstream economy as otherwise most of these kirana players tend to depend on local informal sources for credit which further constrains their choices for credit.
The kiranas, small traders, wholesalers are a significant force in the economy of the country and a huge impact sector, as there are about 12 million kirana stores in the Food and Groceries segment alone. Each of these stores touch the lives of at least 50-100 households. Thus, any solution which helps in improving the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of the segment, directly impacts millions of lives.
Speaking on this milestone funding in their journey, Aurko Bhattacharya, Founder said, “At ePayLater, we are driven by the vision of making credit accessible to as many retailers and small businesses as possible. In the last two years we have transformed lives of over 70,000 retailers in India and this round of funding helps us to reach out to many more retailers and help them in improving the efficiency, profitability of their businesses by giving them the best tools that technology can provide.”
Speaking on this funding Akshay Dua, Head of Private Equity – Sustainable Food APAC, responsibility Investments AG said, “In India, kirana stores are an important part of the economy, supporting millions, and we saw how indispensable they were during the lockdowns. India cannot grow inclusively without removing the inefficiencies in the system. With its innovative tech platform that allows alternative underwriting, and embedding finance in the process, ePayLater is creating massive impact by providing financial inclusion and achieving digital transformation in the country. “
Satya Bansal, Founder of Blue Ashva Capital says, “Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a growing space globally and there is a significant potential to utilize this to provide interest-free credit to retailers and SMEs for their efficient working capital requirements. ePayLater is a leading digitally integrated player with major B2B platforms in India and we look forward to closely working with them in growing this further.”
Says spokesperson of Pravega Ventures “ePayLater has a very innovative and seamless approach to providing BNPL solutions to SMEs. With the Indian government’s push for digitization, the company is using tech in a big way to further empower SMEs by catering to their growing appetite for easy access to pay later solutions. We are thrilled to join hands with this innovative player and are looking forward to being a critical part of its growth story.”
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