[Funding Alert] Lending Startup Kissht raises $80 Mn Funding; Plans for BNPL Card-based lending


Consumer lending fintech startup Kissht raised $80 million as part of the funding led by Vertex Growth and Brunei Investment Agency. The round also saw the participation of Vertex Ventures SEA India and Endiya Partners. 

The current funds will be used to propel the startup’s journey within the challenger card segment with its product named Ring. According to the company, Kissht users can use Ring to avail of a line of credit for up to INR 30K, pay for e-commerce transactions, pay to merchants, pay to self, and pay to friends.

The latest round reportedly values the fintech company at close to $500 million. 

With the fundraising, the company also said it would foray into the challenger card segment, where it will issue its buy-now-pay-later cards known as Ring in association with RBL and SBM Bank to customers linked with a credit line for the millennials and Gen-Z, where credit card penetration is <2%.

Founded in 2015 by former McKinsey consultants Krishnan Vishwanathan and Ranvir Singh, Kissht is a lending tech startup that offers small-ticket loans to users to finance their shopping and avail of personal loans. 

It has close to 3.2 million consumers on its platform, of which more than 50% are active monthly. On average, the platform disburses INR 580 crore in loans each month, with average ticket sizes standing at INR 13,500. The company has an active loan book of INR 900 crore.

The company also distributes health-related insurance and counts Aditya Birla Health Insurance as a partner. However, it continues to be a small part of the overall revenues.

In January 2022, Kissht had announced plans to expand its business to 10 Mn borrowers and to take its total credit volume to INR 10,000 Cr in FY23 (3x higher than FY22).

Ranvir Singh, Founder and CEO of Kissht, said, “We have been strongly focussed on credit, and thought payments were a natural extension to our offerings. The idea behind launching a card was so that customers can seamlessly use the credit for all services, products, and even small ticket offline transactions such as groceries. This helps customers use the credit for recurring transactions and improves engagement, rather than a one-time personal loan which is very episodic.”

James Lee, Managing Partner of Vertex Growth, said, “The founders of Kissht have a unique understanding of the needs of the new-to-credit population of India. The multiservice credit and payments offering will revolutionize the way millennials and other new borrowers use and think about credit.”

The company is also focused on acquiring users through offline channels by embedding its credit offerings at the point of sale in mid-scale department stores.

Currently, Kissht competes with the likes of Lendingkart, Capital Float, FlexiLoans, and KredX. With the current round and plans to enter the BNPL card segment, it aims to take on startups such as slice, OneCard, and UNI, among others. BNPL startup Zenda, too, raised $9.4 Mn to expand its market in India, touting to make a dent in the $1.3 Tn fintech economy.

The BNPL space is estimated to be a $40 Bn market opportunity by 2025.

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