BharatPe has acquired a 51 percent stake in Mumbai-based non-banking financial company (NBFC) Trillion Loans, which sells a range of secured and unsecured loans to small businesses and credit products such as auto, gold and education loans to retail customers.
With this acquisition, the fintech unicorn joins well-funded fintech peers like Cred, Uni and LendingKart in acquiring NBFCs to shore up their credit play. The trend has been growing as the Reserve Bank of India’s tightened norms make it harder for fintech players to operate in the digital loans space without an NBFC licence.
“Acquiring a controlling stake in Trillion Loans is aligned with the BharatPe Group’s larger purpose and will enable us to facilitate access to capital to a wider set of underserved and unbanked businesses as well as customers,” BharatPe Founder and COO Shashvat Nakrani said.
The deal was completed in April. The fintech said that Trillion Loans would operate as an independent entity with its own team under the supervision of the board. It will explore partnerships with other fintech firms and companies to enable credit across a diverse set of businesses and consumers.
BharatPe has also infused a substantial amount of money into Trillion Loans to enable the NBFC to grow its loan book.
“We launched our merchant lending vertical in 2019 and it has grown exponentially over the course of the last three years. Today, we facilitate loans of over Rs 500 crore every month to our merchant partners,” Nakrani said.
BharatPe’s revenue from operations rose 284 percent to Rs 457 crore in FY22, while net loss widened 3.5 times to Rs 5,610 crore. Moneycontrol reported earlier that 85 percent of the loss was due to the change in the value of preference shares.
In FY 22, the company’s expenses on account of salaries and wages increased 116 percent to Rs 110 crore and advertising costs rose 535 percent to Rs 246 crore.
The fintech company has been mired in a controversy around its co-founder Ashneer Grover, who quit as managing director in 2022 after a spat with board members and investors. In a lawsuit, the company has sought Rs 88 crore in damages from Grover and his family for alleged financial misappropriation.