Matrix Partners India led the Series A funding, for fintech startup Avail Finance, of $9 million. The startup is a micro lending platform and will use the fresh funds to expand its offerings. Avail Finance fashions itself as a ‘neo-bank for the blue-collar workers’ in India. The new products to be introduced will include savings and insurance avenues and the company will continue to focus on the same target customer base, the blue-collar workers.
Avail received its seed funding from a host of angel investors, many of them startup entrepreneurs themselves; Binny Bansal, Kunal Shah, Founder of Cred, Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Founders of Ola and Manish Patel, Founder of Mswipe.
Founded in 2017 by Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta, Avail Finance is a fintech company, focused on the blue-collar segment. Some categories of employees coming under the definition of ‘blue-collar’ include security guards, delivery executives, drivers, housekeeping staff etc. To place these people in the salary bracket, they could be typically drawing monthly salaries ranging from Rs 8,000 to Rs 35,000. The traditional lending platforms tend to ignore this category, primarily due to the low value loan requirements and the proportionately high cost of servicing them.
Commenting on the fund raise, Ankush Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Avail Finance said, “Our mission is to provide a financial umbrella to every Indian. While we started with a pure-play lending product, we realized that the blue-collar segment needs a more holistic financial platform. We believe that with our unique combination of customized products and focus on customer experience, we can work towards enabling true financial inclusion, while serving these customers profitably.”
The modern economy has seen the emergence of many businesses which employ such category people in large numbers; you only have to look at companies like Ola, Swiggy and so on to understand this. By partnering with such employers, Avail Finance is able to access its target base quite easily and offer them loans as per their requirements. The micro-lender has created new products like short-term loans to tide over cash flow situations these employees may face.
“Low income consumers are underserved when it comes to financial services and pay the higher access cost for basic financial services. Avail offers a unique product combining micro-savings, loans and insurances that help blue collar workers tide over short term cash flow shocks every month. We believe in Ankush's vision and are excited to continue partnering on this journey with the Avail team." Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD, Matrix India said.