Bengaluru-based Rupifi has raised an undisclosed pre-seed round of funding from prominent angel investors like Ashneer Grover, founder of BharatPe, Kunal Shah, founder of Cred, Ramakant Sharma, founder of Livspace and others.
Seed investors Better Capital and AngelList Syndicate Cloud Capital also participated in this round.
Rupifi was founded this year by three software engineers - Anubhav Jain, Ankit Singh and Jawaid Iqbal. Jain had co-founded another fintech startup Qbera, which he quit in 2018. Singh was the co-founder of Truckmandi while Iqbal comes with almost a decade of experience at tech giant Google.
The startup describes itself a SaaS (software as a service) enabled lending marketplace, a term Jain says he borrowed from a slide show of a large venture fund. In generic terms Rupifi is trying to address the credit needs of small businesses, but has adopted an innovative means of doing it.
The startup partners with aggregators and connects them to lenders through API integrations. Loans are given out to businesses who use the aggregator to sell their products or offer their services. It earns a commission out of every deal that flows through it and also takes some bit of the loan on its own books, making money from interest payments.
“Just to give an example, we can partner with a food delivery platform, their restaurant partners might need credit, we can integrate our pipe with the platform and connect the restaurants to lenders and help them get loans,” said Jain.
It has already initiated tie-ups with Shuttl, the bus aggregator, Dressfolk, a Delhi-based fashion portal and others. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Rupifi is facing issues in finalising few partnerships. But the founders are confident of taking the total partnership to 10 within the next quarter.
On the lending side, Rupifi has two non-banking lenders on board and is looking to clinch partnerships with banks. It is also ready to take around 5 percent of the loans into its own books, mainly to show some skin in the game as well as learn about credit underwriting faster.