Navadhan founding team: Left to Right - Vijay Haswani, Amit Biswal, Nitin Agrawal, Anirudh Ramakuru

Rural-fintech Startup Navadhan Raises USD 5M Led by Prime Venture Partners

Dec 06, 2023

BusinessWire India
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], December 6: Rural-fintech Navadhan, today announced that it has raised 40 Cr (USD 5M) in its Pre-Series A round led by Prime Venture Partners. Existing investors, Varanium NexGen Fintech Fund and Gemba Capital also participated in the round. The new funds will be used to further enhance the company's AceN tech platform and scale up the company's distribution and service delivery model.

Navadhan's AceN tech platform enables full-service customer fulfilment starting from sourcing, seamless digital enrolments, credit underwriting, servicing, payments to collections. It has over Rs.300 Cr of lines available from 20 Bank/ NBFCs on its platform with whom AceN enables API integrations into their existing systems. Navadhan's own NBFC licence has played a key role in ensuring regulatory compliant workflows for co-lending.

With the power of data science, Navadhan's proprietary alternative underwriting model assesses the digital footprint and cash flow surrogates. This solves the lack of income proofs and documents which has kept the banks away from such markets. This innovative approach addresses the challenges of the predominantly cash-based economy and limited banking track record in rural and informal markets. Navadhan has both people and Tech on the ground with a brick-to-click model.

Speaking on the fundraise, Nitin Agrawal, Founder of Navadhan said: "Prime has a reputation of being a thoughtful investor and we greatly enjoyed the interactions and rigour with which they worked with the Navadhan team, including visiting and interacting with our customers. We are excited to have them join our journey in building a Tech-led business model with a Revenue-first approach and a vision of creating new-wealth for the rural-preneurs. The new fundraise will add tailwinds to our efforts at building solutions to bring such small-businesses to the formal economy. We will continue to build it for Bank, NBFCs to leverage on the regulatory advantage of priority sector assets. It is still early days for us and we are excited by the massive opportunity ahead of us."

Navadhan was co-founded by Nitin Agrawal along with 3 teammates - Vijay Haswani, Anirudh Ramakuru and Amit Biswal. Nitin saw the recent surge of digitisation as an opportunity to build a tech-led finance platform. This comes from his 2 decades of experience including leading Product-Tech for micro-banking and agri-channel finance at ICICI, setting up a rural finance business for Fullerton India and in the recent past, serving as CEO of Spandana Sphoorty, a listed NBFC-MFI.

"The MSME sector in India has always been credit-starved, and yet remains one of the critical growth sectors in the country. Nitin, his co-founders and the Navadhan team, have demonstrated an extremely viable and tech-driven model for distribution, underwriting, and robust collections, while leveraging co-lending to achieve meaningful scale. We truly believe they have created a very attractive model and are delighted to be the catalyst in the next phase of growth of this company," said Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners.
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