Mumbai, Jan 11 (PTI) Rupeek, a digital-focused gold loan lender backed by Sequoia and Accel, has said its loan book has nearly doubled from last year and has crossed the Rs 7,500-crore mark in 2021, indicating the financial distress of the public due to the pandemic.
The gold loan is more than a fully-secured business and the industry is dominated by Kerala-based two Muthoot groups and Manappuram Finance, which do not offer this service and the customer has to physically carry the jewellery to the outlet of the lender.
But, Bengaluru-based Rupeek began in 2015 with a difference of offering the entire service at the doorstep of the customer — from collecting the gold to assaying to disbursing cash at the doorstep of the borrower and also returning to the same place on the maturity of the pledged gold.
Since last year, Kochi-based Indel Money has also been piloting a similar service in Bengaluru.
In a statement, Rupeek founder and Chief Executive Sumit Maniyar said the company’s loan book has almost doubled in the last one year. “Between 2020 and December 2021, the loan book has crossed the Rs 7,500-crore mark.” He attributed higher growth to the tie-ups he has entered into with ICICI Bank, Federal Bank, South Indian Bank and Karur Vysya Bank, apart from the geographical reach that now touches 35 cities.
In 2022, the company plans to grow exponentially and serve customers in 120 cities from 35 earlier, and also to take the tie-up with lenders to over 10 from the four now.
It offers doorstep gold loans to households/ individuals, and small businesses at a low-interest rate of 0.49 per cent per month to 1.5 per cent per month as against the industry pricing of 1-2 per cent monthly, a company spokesman told PTI.
The spokesman added that it is also planning gold-backed credit cards, gold overdraft and gold teller machine services this year.
Recently, Rupeek raised a funding of USD 34 million, valuing it at USD 634 million led by Lightbox. Its existing investors include Sequoia, Accel, Vostok Emerging Finance, Bertelsmann, GGV Capital and HighSage Ventures, who have collectively put in USD 100 million, taking the total to USD 134 million.
The last fundraising was in March 2021 when it had mopped up USD 33 million at a valuation of USD 508 million from GGV Capital, Vostok Emerging Finance, Highsage Investments, and Bertelsmann.
Rupeek is also working to cash in on the government-backed gold monetisation drive, which has the potential of monetising as much as USD 2 trillion worth of gold assets in the country.
The company is the first brand that has digitised the entire process of obtaining secured credit against gold holdings, allowing users to get instant credit from the comfort of their homes, said Maniyar. PTI BEN HRS hrs
source: PTI News