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Exclusive: Rupeek kicks off Series E round with $33 Mn tranche led by GGV


Gold-based hybrid loan platform Rupeek has kicked off its Series E round with a $33 million or Rs 239 crore tranche led by GGV Capital and four other investors. Almost a year ago, the company had mopped up $30 million in Series D financing led by Flipkart’s co-founder Binny Bansal.

Rupeek has allotted 2,860 Series E Preference shares at an issue price of Rs 8,34,788 each, regulatory filings show. GGV Capital has infused $ 13.2 million or Rs 95.5 crore whereas two new investors: Vostok Emerging Finance and High Sage Investments have put in $7.1 million or Rs 51.42 crore each.

Existing investors Bertelsmann BV and Gemini Investments have invested $4.6 million Rs 33.05 crore and $1 million or Rs 7.34 crore. GGV also participated in Rupeek’s Series D round. The company is likely to raise more capital in the ongoing Series E round.

In November, Entrackr had exclusively reported that Rupeek is in talks to raise up to $100 million in the new financing round from existing and new backers. According to a MoneyControl report, Yuri Millner’s DST Global would also invest in this round.

Rupeek is the de facto leader in the digital gold loans space with operations across 30 cities and disburses over $69 million or Rs 500 crore a month. Its lending partners include Karur Vysya Bank, ICICI Bank and Federal Bank. For these banks, it functions as a business correspondent and provides services such as identification of borrowers, collection and preliminary processing of loan applications.

According to Fintrackr’s estimate, Rupeek has been valued at $515 million or Rs 3,730 crore (post-money) in the first tranche of the new round. It’s a significant jump of 63.2% in valuation as compared to $315.3 million or Rs 2,286 crore during its Series D round.

According to Fintrackr, the company’s business had registered over 8.6X jump in its operating revenue with a 6X growth in loan book (loan processed via its own NBFCs) which grew to Rs 93.3 crore in FY20. Rupeek’s operative revenue stood at Rs 26.7 crore in FY20 from Rs 3.12 crore. Its losses also grew 5.4X to Rs 77.16 crore in the last financial year.

Unlike many businesses which faced disruptions and hardships during the pandemic, Rupeek has managed to grow in the ongoing fiscal. As gold prices soared in 2020, coupled with an increase in the need to deal with financial stress due to the pandemic, gold loans have witnessed a surge, triggering a spurt in Rupeek’s scale.

Rupeek’s primary competition comes from established players like Muthoot Finance and Manappuram Finance which give out over two-third of the gold loans in the country. Nitin Misra and Deepak Abbot’s Indiagold is likely to emerge as a direct competitor to the five-year-old firm.

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