Rural fintech startup Jai Kisan, on Friday said it has raised $50 million (Rs 398.5 crore) in a mix of equity and debt in the first close of its ongoing Series B funding round. The round was raised at a valuation of $200-240 million, a person close to the transaction told VCCircle.
The Mumbai-based startup is expected to raise an additional $30-50 million as part of the Series B funding round in a combination of equity and debt, the person cited above added.
The current Series B funding round was raised from new investors, GMO Venture Partners, Yara Growth Ventures and DG Daiwa Ventures. Existing investors including Blume Ventures, Arkam Ventures, Mirae Asset and Snow Leopard Ventures also participated in the round, said Jai Kisan in a statement.
The debt funding was brought in by Northern Arc, Alteria and publicly-listed MAS Financial, it added.
Jai Kisan, operated by Greenizon Agritech Consultancy, will use the fresh capital to expand its product suite and strengthen its data science and engineering capabilities. A part of the capital will also be used to hire, it added.
Prior to this funding round, Jai Kisan raised $30 million in debt and equity in its Series A investment led by Mirae Asset in May last year.
Founded in 2017 by Arjun Ahluwalia and Adriel Maniego, Jai Kisan is building a full-stack financial services platform for rural individuals and businesses. Its app - Bharat Khata - helps rural businesses digitize transactions and capture insights into the financial needs of customers. Bharat Khata has 100,000 businesses on its app, it said. Jai Kisan has also implemented its low-cost farmer financing at point-of-sale (POS) that helps complete a loan journey within 10 minutes. Jai Kisan claims to have facilitated loans of over $220 million on an annualized basis and recorded a 4x growth within 12 months.
"We were struck by the opportunity that Jai Kisan has to help enable better financing to rural Indians” said George Roche of Yara Growth Ventures, a corporate venture capital arm of Norway-headquartered crop nutrition and agriculture company Yara International ASA.
Ryu Muramatsu, director and founding partner of Japanese venture capital firm GMO Venture Partners, noted that enabling access to financial services can fundamentally change the lives of hundreds of millions of rural Indians.
"We will continue to build on the back of this support and create impact in this underserved space, leveraging creative new age solutions and keeping customer experience at the core of our beliefs," said Arjun Ahluwalia, co-founder and chief executive officer, Jai Kisan.
Veda Corporate Advisors and Investec India acted as financial advisers to Jai Kisan for the fundraise.
Fintech startups have been attracting both early stage and growth funding in recent weeks despite the liquidity squeeze in the market.
Just last week, consumer neo banking company Niyo raised $30 million from homegrown private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management.
Last month, fintech unicorn Slice raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by existing investor Tiger Global. MSME fintech lender FlexiLoans and small business credit platform Kissht raised significant growth capital of $90 million and $80 million respectively, last month in other notable recent fintech funding.