True Balance raises $15 Mn in debt funding to support expansion

True Balance

Fintech Startup True Balance has raised $15 Mn in debt funding from Pace, E-clear, and other investors in Korea, to support the company’s expansion in India.

Founded in 2014 by Cheolwon ‘Charlie’ Lee and Jay Lee, the platform focuses on offline payment users, as well as non-credit point users who are underbanked or not provided by traditional financial institutions. The company’s operations in India were launched in 2016.

True Balance claims to have a growth outlay of 30-50% monthly. The startup’s main product for new-to-credit users — Level Up Loan — has grown 2000% in FY21 with smaller ticket size products. The company plans to serve its customers within the monthly earnings brackets of INR 5 K to INR 30 K with loans between INR 1 K to INR 50 K.

Commenting on the fundraise, Vishal Bhatia, Chief Financial Officer of True Balance, said, “Every round of funding we raise only cements our commitment to ensuring access to finance for the underbanked, and those who lack access to credit. We have seen exponential growth this year and are confident of achieving a break-even within the year. The goal with this round of funding is to expand our great work to newer markets, making finance available for all.”

With the pandemic in place more and more startups have been opting for venture debt funding. And between FY19 and 20, the investments in venture debt have risen by 79%. Out of 154 deals by 2020, e-commerce (30), consumer service (29), and fintech (27) were the most effective categories of venture debt funding.

True Balance aims to break through FY2021 with its alternative credit scoring system (ACS) and machine learning-based underwriting models that assist NTC and low-credit score users in getting access to liquidity.

In 2019, the company launched its financial product, True Credits and claims to have a 1 million transaction within three months. In addition, True Balance ensures that more than INR 300 Cr is disbursed nationwide, and loans in the range of INR 1 K to 50 K are granted to more than 6.7 Mn Indians.

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