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Bertelsmann is further expanding its digital businesses in the strategic growth region of India. The international media, services and education company is leading a financing round (Series B) for the Indian Fintech company Lendingkart.
Lendingkart focuses on the provision of business loans for small and medium-size enterprises in India. In the past two years, the startup has arranged loans for companies in 135 Indian cities through its platform. The business model is entirely digital: algorithms are used to evaluate the customer’s creditworthiness in a fully automated way, so that the funds can often be transferred within less than 24 hours.
Lendingkart will use the latest infusion of capital to enhance its technology platform, strengthen its data analysis capabilities, and introduce new digital financial products. The company also wants to expand regionally in other cities in India. Other investors in the current financing round totaling $32 million are the financial investors Darrin Capital Management, Mayfield India, Saama Capital and India Quotient.
Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director of Bertelsmann India Investments, said: “We’re excited to partner with Lendingkart to build the next generation lending company in India. Lendingkart is a strong example of digital innovation: The company uses technology and data processing to provide its customers monetary access, even in the remote corners of India.”
Harshvardhan Lunia, co-founder and CEO of Lendingkart, added: “With Bertelsmann onboard, we look forward to leveraging their deep understanding of the global financial and internet businesses. With financial services leaders like Arvato Financial Solutions in the Group, Bertelsmann has strategic insights of the fintech space with end-to-end process knowledge and expertise in digital origination. Bertelsmann brings a fresh perspective on digital distribution and data-driven risk assessment which will help us in becoming the leading lending platform for SMEs in India.”
Lendingkart is the eighth company in the Bertelsmann India Investments portfolio, and its third new investment this year. In April, the company invested in the social fashion network Roposo, and in January, Bertelsmann had acquired a stake in the e-commerce enabler KartRocket. The Group also has shareholdings in the music streaming service Saavn and India's leading online marketplace for furniture, Pepperfry. Several Bertelsmann divisions also have operations in India: RTL Group is successful in India through its production arm Fremantle Media, with shows like “Indian Idol”, “The X Factor” and “Got Talent”. Last year RTL Group also acquired a majority stake in YoBoHo, a producer and publisher of video content for kids on platforms like YouTube. Penguin Random House is the country’s largest English-language publisher, and Arvato delivers a range of customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing services to international customers.
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group, and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.1 billion in the 2015 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.
About Bertelsmann Investments
Bertelsmann Investments unites Bertelsmann’s start-up investments around the world. The focus of its activities are the strategic growth regions of Brazil, China and India, as well as the United States and Europe. Shareholdings are acquired through the strategic investment vehicles Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI), Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI). Bertelsmann owns stakes in more than 100 innovative companies via these funds.