Credenc Web Technologies Pvt. Ltd, an education loans platform, said on Tuesday it has raised Rs 17.8 crore ($2.5 million) in a seed funding round led by impact investor Omidyar Network India.
Venture capital firms Emphasis Ventures and Better Capital as well as the IIM-Kozhikode Alumni Fund have also invested, Credenc said in a statement.
The startup said it will use the funds to expand operations to 1,000 colleges across 50 cities over the next two years. It also plans to hire across technology, credit and banking partnerships.
The company said it intends to build up a loan book of about Rs 3,500 crore over the next five years.
Delhi-based Credenc was founded by Avinash Kumar and Mayank Batheja in 2017. It says it works as the digital finance desk of more than 200 management colleges across 17 cities. The startup claims it has approved loans worth Rs 100 crore thus far.
Credenc says that, after providing financial support, it works with students and helps them with employability services. It claims it has mapped 70,000 job roles across 50,000 companies in India and developed an understanding of employability in India.
“Our target segment consists of the top 10,000 colleges in India, and we would like to ensure that we are available for the top 10% of students from these colleges,” said co-founder Avinash Kumar.
Sarvesh Kanodia, associate at Omidyar Network India, said the fintech startup’s differentiated lending model provides financing to deserving students.
“We see this partnership as an opportunity to demonstrate that a highly impactful and profitable business can be built in the large and untapped higher education financing space,” he said.
Vaibhav Domkundwar, CEO at Better Capital, said that Credenc is solving a “multi-billion-dollar domestic education financing problem”.
Better Capital is a pre-seed and seed-stage venture firm that invests in businesses across sectors. Its portfolio of companies in India and the US includes Rupeek, Open, Khatabook, Shop Kirana, Textbook, Yulu, Gramophone, Jai Kisan and LeanAgri.
Emphasis Ventures, or EMVC, is a venture capital firm that invests in fintech and insurance-tech startups in emerging markets. It says it has a strong India focus. Launched in 2018, the firm makes equity investments in early-stage startups.