BharatPe, a major player in India’s fintech industry, has acquired a majority stake in a Mumbai-based non-banking financial company (NBFC), Trillion Loans Fintech.
According to sources, the deal was valued at around INR 300 Cr, and BharatPe has already obtained all the necessary approvals from the Reserve Bank of India to acquire a 51% stake in the NBFC.
The acquisition is expected to give BharatPe a major foothold in the lending space, as having an NBFC license will make it easier and less cumbersome for the company to offer loans and credit facilities.
This move will allow BharatPe to reduce its dependence on other NBFCs and enable it to scale its offerings on its own terms. Trillion Loans Fintech, founded by Achal Mittal and Gautam Adukia, provides users with gold loans with direct money transfers.
Interestingly, both Mittal and Adukia also founded the P2P lending platform Liquiloans, which is powered by BharatPe’s P2P investment product. Liquiloans has the RBI mandate for both NBFC and P2P lending licenses and also works closely with Kunal Shah-led fintech startup CRED.
The acquisition is a significant step forward for BharatPe, which has been seeking an NBFC license for almost four years. In 2019, BharatPe attempted to acquire the NBFC license, but the request was rejected by the RBI.
In June 2021, BharatPe clinched the license for a small finance bank and entered into a joint venture with Centrum Financial Services, with the partnership in the form of Unity Small Finance Bank commencing operations in November 2021.
Since then, the company has been involved in a public battle with its former managing director Ashneer Grover, with allegations of misappropriation of funds plaguing the company. The public dispute has seen both parties seek damages and file criminal complaints against each other.
BharatPe is backed by Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, and other marquee investors, and was last valued at $2.8 billion. The acquisition of Trillion Loans Fintech is expected to bolster the company’s position in the market and provide it with the necessary resources to expand its lending offerings.