BENGALURU: Sequoia Capital-backed digital payments startup BharatPe has started extending small value, short duration loans to merchants by partnering with a few non-banking finance companies.
It is also planning to apply for its own lending licence to lend to merchants who are accepting payments through BharatPe QR codes, showing consistent transactions on the platform for the last three months.
The development means it joins an already crowded club of other internet companies such as Cars24, Flipkart and Ola which have also taken a plunge into credit.
“We have started a pilot for our lending product in Bengaluru and given out a few hundred loans only based on cash flow that the merchant generates through our QR code,” said Ashneer Grover, cofounder of BharatPe. “Lending will be one of our monetisation plans and we intend to scale it up slowly from here.”
The New Delhi-based startup has partnered with Apollo Finvest for such loans and plans to rope in more partners. BharatPe, which offers loans in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh, charges an interest rate of 1.67% per month, cheaper than what local money lenders offer to this category of merchants. BharatPe wants to co-lend in collaboration with other financiers and try to keep interest rates under control once it gets a licence.