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Neo-Banking startup NiYO raises $35 million from Tencent

Digital banking solution provider NiYO has raised USD 35 million (INR 241.5 crore) in Series B round led by Chinese investment holding conglomerate Tencent Holding. Existing investors Horizons Ventures and JS Capital also participated in the round, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Bangalore-based startup founded by Vinay Bagri and Virender Bisht had earlier raised about USD 14 million in its previous rounds. With the fresh funding in kitty, the company wants to grow its user base by getting into more cities and also use part of the funds for product innovation, marketing activities and acquisition.

“We are evaluating the process of distribution of our products into more number of cities. Currently, we are in 38 cities but want to reach 100 cities by the end of this year. We are also looking to expand into the international markets.” Vinay Bagri, CEO and co-founder of NiYO told IBS Intelligence. He also added that the company is scouting for technology startups in the lending and travel segment for possible acquisition. However, he did not give divulge any further details.
With over a million users, NiYO is targetting to reach about five million users in the next 2-3 years. NiYO, a neo-banking provider, with its flagship wealth management and a lending product called NiYO Bharat targets blue-collar employees who do not have access to proper banking solutions. It has partnered with banks such as DCB and Yes Bank for facilitating small ticket personal loans to such unbanked customers working in the organised sector, who have bank accounts but are not aware of financial products or access to easy loans. NiYO aims to create a technology-enabled and value-added product and service offering layer over the existing banking infrastructure, to offer a comprehensive digital banking proposition to its retail and SME customer base.

Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners, said, “From our first meeting with Vinay and Viren, we were excited by the vision of bringing ‘neo-banking’ experience to the blue collar segment — helping drive the benefits of digitization, financial inclusion and to the hard-working masses in India.”

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