Former Paytm executives’ new startup Indiagold, a gold-centric lending startup, is working on a product that will allow its customers to earn interest on their gold locker balance, said three people aware of the details.
Customers will get a percentage return on the gold value every year while they store the gold with Indiagold, said one of the sources requesting anonymity. Entrackr has also confirmed this independently from a partner of Indiagold who is working with them.
“This product will let you earn 5-6% on the value of your gold kept in Indiagold’s locker, instead of charging you for locker,” said the person quoted above, about this yet-to-be-launched product.
This is the first such move by any gold-based lending platform in India. At present, new-age startups such as Rupeek and traditional players including Muthoot Finance and Manappuram Finance don’t offer interest on gold deposits.
“Indiagold would also seek regulatory advice from government agencies to avoid any friction,” said the second person who also wished not to be named. The new product is likely to trigger adoption for the early-stage company that was launched late last year.
Indiagold provides gold loans and secure gold locker services across Delhi (NCR) and has plans to expand across north India. It also lets you buy gold coins through its app and website. According to its website, it has over half a million users from the NCR region.
Entrackr queries sent to founders Nitin Misra and Deepak Abbot late Friday didn’t elicit any response. We will update the story in case they respond.
While sources emphasise that Indiagold is in late-stage talks with several venture capital firms to snap up a Series A round, it had already mopped up Rs 14 crore in a seed round led by Leo Capital. According to regulatory filings, Leo Capital invested Rs 8 crore for an 11% stake.
Blume Founders Fund, Sequoia Scout and seven angels including Kunal Shah, Amrish Rau, Kunal Bahl, Ashneer Grover, Miten Sampat and Ramakant Sharma and Sandeep Tandon have collectively put in Rs 6 crore for a total stake of 9%.
Post allotment of the seed round, Abbot and Misra own 32.5% each in Indiagold. Fintrackr estimates show that the company was valued at Rs 70 crore. Importantly, the company has 15% stake in its employee stock option or ESOPs.
Apart from Rupeek, which is Indiagold’s direct competitor, the company competes with established players like Muthoot and Manappuram. Currently, Muthoot and Manappuram dominate over 70% of the gold loans in the country.
Largest public sector bank State Bank of India (SBI) also runs revamped gold deposit scheme or GDS which gives you 0.5% interest per year on gold deposits.
As gold prices have soared in 2020, coupled with an increase in a need to deal with financial stress due to the pandemic, gold loans have witnessed a surge, bringing companies like Rupeek and Indiagold to the limelight.