May 01, 2019

Happy get $20 million new funding to grow small business lending in India

Financing will reach up to 1 million new borrowers in current fiscal year

Happy announced $20 million in fresh capital to grow its AI powered lend-tech model making flexible digital loans to micro and small business in over 500 locations across India.

 

In its first two years of operations, Happy has disbursed over $20 million (INR 140 crore) through over 32,000 loans to more than 80 different kinds of businesses, with most loans taking only minutes from application to disbursal. With access to 2.5 million micro enterprises across 20 business partners, Happy is now ready to make an orbit shift with digital lending in India.

 

The funding announced today includes a mix of equity from Indian and US strategic investors, and financing lines from institutions including DMI, a leading India-based non-bank finance company. Happy’s latest investors have recognized the company’s unique access to more than 2.5 million potential small borrowers across India through partnerships with nearly 20 payment and other commercial networks. With its new funding, Happy will grow its loan portfolio multiple-fold disbursing over 1 million loans over the next fiscal and will reduce loan fulfillment times to below one minute.

 

Happy was founded by Manish Khera, Gautam Ivatury and Shweta Aprameya, a team with over 50 years of collective experience delivering and designing alternate & innovative financial services in markets from India to Kenya and the United States. The company’s loans for small businesses are less costly and more reliable than informal borrowing. Its mission is to support and increase the financial strength of small and micro-entrepreneurs, the heart of Indian commerce.

 

“What inspires me is that there are millions of people who need financial assistance for basic economic mobility and growth. Micro-enterprises contribute 37.5% to India’s economy and employ 20% of India’s workforce, over 100 million people. Small flexible loans help create greater business opportunities, stabilize cashflows, and enhance livelihoods for small business owners and their employees. Making one million small loans means building a loan portfolio of over $100 million and catalyzing economic wealth of $10 billion for micro- and small enterprises in a single year,” Happy’s Co-founder & MD Manish Khera explained.

 

Shweta Aprameya Co-founder Happy said “HAPPY is driven by creating large scale impact in the lives of millions of micro entrepreneurs who are the backbone of our nation. We exist to stand by this entrepreneur who is part of the India dream and is working hard to build a business & the chase the dream for his family. We are part of the journey in creating HAPPY moments. We love every minute of building this economic multiplier through our LendTech platform, we call HAPPY!”

 

Gautam Ivatury Co-founder Happy added “We have been fairly successful in getting the right technology to serve our customer – every leg of the process is digitised to offer a simple & easy borrowing experience while managing risk -  with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). With the infusion of more resources we plan to explore more advanced technology such a blockchain in the credit underwriting process”

 

Besides growing the lending operation, Happy will also expand the power of its innovative technology platform, which today enables instant API-driven lending with over 20 partners. The platform is designed for the simplest customer experience and instant availability of credit through standardized technical integrations with partners, machine-learning based credit decisions, and recently loan records on blockchain. Happy sees itself at the beginning of a journey to deepen its relationships with its customers, by combining data, fintech, and an unmatched understanding of micro- and small business finance.

 

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