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Navadhan, an Indian rural FinTech raises $1.5m in Seed Round

By Leandra Monteiro

June 23, 2023

  • AceN Tech Platform
  • Digital Lending
  • Digital Transformation
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NavadhanRural-FinTech startup Navadhan has raised $1.5 million in Seed round led by Varanium NexGen, a FinTech focussed fund.

Existing investor Anicut Capital co-led the round where Gemba Capital also participated.

Navadhan will use the funds to further build its AceN Tech platform. The platform connects rural small businesses (MSMEs) with NBFCs and Banks. It has enrolled over 2,00,000 customers and disbursed over 120m in partnership with 15 lenders like Ugro, Vivriti, Northern Arc, Caspian, Unitus and TruCap.

The platform offers a seamless digital onboarding experience, simplifying the customer journey and eliminating paperwork. With the power of data sciences, Navadhan’s proprietary alternative-underwriting model assesses the digital footprint and cash flow surrogates. This solves for lack of income proofs and documents which has kept the Banks away from such markets. This innovative approach addresses the challenges of the predominantly cash-based economy and limited banking track record in rural markets.

Speaking about the development, Nitin Agrawal, Founder CEO of Navadhan mentioned, “We are a tech-led and revenue-first fintech. Our mission is to help create new wealth for the rural small entrepreneurs by solving for their challenges. We are leveraging Tech using alternative-credit, predictive analytics backed by data sciences. With both Tech and People on-ground, we are making it work for the NBFCs and Banks to generate priority sector assets. The new fund raise will add tailwinds to our growth plans. As the Smart-phone and UPI penetration improves, we have an early mover advantage in the rural markets.”

Speaking about the development, Aparajit Bhandarkar of Varanium NexGen mentioned, “India is growing and Rural markets are not far behind. While most of the fintech space is focussed at Tier-1,2,3, we saw Navadhan’s focus on the informal market as a potential high-growth area. Navadhan’s founders are seasoned professionals with credible experience in financial services. With the right TAM, Team, Tech, and Traction, they are building an early mover’s advantage in rural-markets. Tech-led approach gives non-linear scalability to their model. We see Navadhan as a potential market leader in making.”

Last year, the startup had raised pre-Seed funding from Anicut, BOPA, Flowstate and other angels like Prasanna Rao (Arya.ag), Sarah Djari (Impact Fintech PE). With the current round, Navadhan has raised a total funding of $16m in equity and debt lines with NBFC partners.

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