Jai Kisan banks $30m to boost financial services in rural India

Rural FinTech startup which provides digital financial services for online and offline, income-generating, rural commerce transactions Jai Kisan has raised $30m in a combination of equity and debt in funding led by Mirae Asset.

Syngenta Ventures, Blume, Arkam Ventures, Nabventures (Nabard), Prophetic Ventures and Better participated in the Series A round. The debt capital was raised from Blacksoil, Stride Ventures and Trifecta Capital.

The company plans to use the proceeds to hire more talent and enhance its engineering and data science capabilities. The company also plans to expand into new geographies to tier-2 and tier-3 cities of the country and start building an on-book portfolio.

Founded by Arjun Ahluwalia and Adriel Maniego, Jai Kisan focuses on providing credit as well as a suite of financial products to the rural economy. It partners with equipment dealers, agriculture retailers, collection centres and market linkage platforms, to directly provide credit to farmers, working in the agriculture, poultry and dairy value chain.

Jai Kisan is working with more than 700 organised and unorganised to distribute its financial products to a cumulative customer base of over 1.5 lakh rural individuals including farmers, it claimed.

In April last year, Jai Kisan launched its digital ledger product for rural businesses called Bharat Khata. Within a year of launch, over $380m in transaction value has been processed through Bharat Khata at over 25,000 storefronts, the company said.

Commenting on the round, Ahluwalia said, “Despite the pandemic’s multiple waves, we have seen stellar growth on our top line and bottom line while ensuring robust portfolio quality. As most financial institutions took a step back due to reliance on ground operations, it was the resilient nature of our team that made Jai Kisan stand by its borrowers through these tough times.”

Highlighting the importance of rural finance products, Mirae Asset – India Venture Investments CEO Ashish Dave said, “Jai Kisan is at the cusp of disrupting the rural financing industry and we’re glad to be a part of their growth story. Jai Kisan’s stellar growth, excellent asset quality and expanding footprint make them a highly differentiated player in the segment.”

Syngenta Group Ventures managing director Shubhang Shankar added, “We believe that access to credit is one of the key enablers for farmers to adopt quality practices. The low penetration of traditional financing institutions in the sector creates significant financial stress for smallholder farmers.”

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