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Flipkart co-founder, Binny Bansal, bets big on gold loan startup Rupeek

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Last Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 10.48 AM IST
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Rupeek is also supported by some of India’s largest banks, which are eager to diversify their portfolios by getting into gold-backed lending.

Highlights

  • Rupeek disbursed $16 million of loans in September and is currently at a monthly pace of $28 million.
  • Rupeek's newest product is a “gold overdraft” product.
  • "Gold overdraft" lets users store their gold beforehand, take out a loan against it anytime, then repay at will with interest.
By Saritha Rai

Rupeek Fintech Pvt, an online lender that dispenses loans against gold jewelry and heirlooms, has raised $60 million from investors including GGV Capital after demonstrating sharp growth in recent months.

Tanglin Venture Partners, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal’s BTB Ventures and Korea’s KB Investment Co. were among those that joined its latest financing round, the company said in a statement. The funding valued the Bangalore-based startup at more than $300 million, a person familiar with the transaction said. Rupeek itself did not disclose the valuation.

Rupeek, which dispatches appraisers to prospective borrowers’ doorsteps to assess and pick up jewelry, is finding favor with Indians ashamed of being seen pawning family heirlooms. It disbursed $16 million of loans in September and is currently at a monthly pace of $28 million, said Sumit Maniyar, founder and chief executive officer. That’s up from a mere $1.5 million in January of last year, he said.

“More and more first-time gold borrowers are coming on board. We give Indians a far more discreet option compared with pledging family jewels with the neighborhood pawnbroker,” Maniyar said in a telephone interview.

Rupeek now offers its service in 10 Indian cities. Indians hoard more of the precious yellow metal than citizens of any other country -- some 25,000 tons of stockpiles worth about $1 trillion -- in their homes and vaults. The startup began dispensing gold-backed loans in 2016 and was funded by Silicon Valley venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Accel from its early stages.

Rupeek is also supported by some of India’s largest banks, which are eager to diversify their portfolios by getting into gold-backed lending. Its newest product is a “gold overdraft” product that lets users store their gold beforehand, take out a loan against it anytime, then repay at will with interest. “Many small business owners find this convenient as they can take small-ticket loans and pay the interest on the quantum of loan for only the time period they borrow,” Maniyar said.

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Rupeek gets $60 million led by GGV, Binny Bansal and Bertelsmann

Binny Bansal puts $20m more in insurance company Acko

IIT-Delhi's distinguished alumni award for Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal

Binny Bansal to set up $400 million VC fund

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