Bengaluru, 19th Dec 2019: ZestMoney, a leading digital point-of-sale consumer finance platform in India, announced today it has received an equity investment led by Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank and active investor in India. The company’s existing investors, Naspers Fintech, Quona Capital & Flourish, also participated in the round.
The round comes amid a period of tremendous growth for the fintech disruptor as exciting opportunities in the Indian fintech space continue to soar, on the back of ample availability of low-cost data and government-backed investments in mobile payments infrastructure. Consumer credit penetration in India is amongst the lowest in the region with less than 5% of adults owning a credit card. ZestMoney estimates there are as many as 600 million people in the country who are credit worthy but are not offered loans by traditional financial institutions.
Goldman Sachs is the latest of a number of blue-chip investors to back ZestMoney; it joins other global fintech investors including Ribbit Capital, Xiaomi, Naspers Fintech, Quona Capital and Flourish (Omidyar Networks).
“India is one of the most exciting fintech markets in the world. We see this investment in one of the country’s leading consumer lending fintech companies as fostering much-needed access to affordable consumer credit to Indian households. We look forward to leveraging our global experience and network for the continued growth of ZestMoney,” said Philip Aldis, a managing director at Goldman Sachs.
ZestMoney has been built as a completely digital, scalable technology platform that can provide credit to people who have limited access to credit cards or any other formal financing options because of insufficient credit history.
The latest Reserve Bank of India data shows less than 54 million credit cards are currently in issuance in India, compared with more than 850 million debit cards. Young online shoppers in India do not want to use credit cards but are increasingly keen to avail of “equal monthly installment” (“EMI”) plans to help improve affordability. ZestMoney is a leading provider of these EMI plans on major e-commerce, travel and education platforms. ZestMoney expects to cross an annual run rate of over $1 billion in disbursal run rate in less than 18 months.
The ZestMoney platform uses an AI-based machine learning decision engine to enable instant approval of small-ticket loans and disburse the loan automatically without any manual human interference. With more than six million registered customers in India and a net promoter score of 75+, ZestMoney has become a recognized and trusted leader in point-of-sale finance. Consumers can use ZestMoney to pay for purchases of any amount up to $3,000 at over 3,000 merchants, many offering interest-free financing options with no hidden fees. In recent months, respected brands including Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, Paytm have integrated with ZestMoney as a prominent payment option at checkout.
India’s own domestic payments platform Unified Payments Interface (UPI) skyrocketed in the past three years and hit a landmark of 1 billion transactions in October 2019. UPI has emerged as a major challenger to card payments. A diverse set of banks and fintech companies are deploying QR codes for large and small merchants, including hawkers, to accept payments through UPI. This makes it one of the fastest adoptions of any payments system anywhere in the world.
Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma, and Ashish Anantharaman co-founded ZestMoney in 2015 with the vision to ‘make life more affordable’ to every citizen in the country.
“The capital we’ve raised in this latest round will enable us to accelerate product development, grow our strategic partnerships and scale our platform further to help support the dreams and aspirations of an ever-increasing number of Indian households,” said Lizzie Chapman, co-founder, and CEO of ZestMoney.
ZestMoney isa leading AI Driven, EMI Financing Platform in India. The company is built as a platform that can meaningfully improve the lives of more than 300 million households in the country, who currently have no access to credit cards or any other formal financing options because of insufficient credit history. ZestMoney’s unique platform uses mobile technology, digital banking and Artificial Intelligence to make life more affordable to millions of Indian consumers. ZestMoney is backed by leading investors such as Ribbit Captial, Xiaomi, Naspers Fintech and Omidyar Networks.
ZestMoney also recently announced a strategic partnership with Credit Saison, a Japanese financial services company affiliated to Mizuho Financial Group and the third-largest credit card issuer with over 20 million cardholders in Japan. This is the first of its kind partnership between a fintech in India and a Japanese financial institution. Under the partnership, $100 million will be deployed towards expanding digital lending in the country.