Fundraising social platform Milaap has raised $1.1 million in a funding round led by Jungle Ventures. Other Investors include Toivo Annus, Co-founder & former Head of Engineering of Skype, Lionrock Capital, Jayesh Parekh, Co-Founder of Sony Entertainment Television and existing investor, Unitus Seed Fund.
Hari Kumar of Lion Rock Capital and Jayesh Parekh of Jungle Ventures have joined the board of Milaap as part of this funding deal. The company plans to utilise the funds to expand engineering and also marketing outreach.
Speaking to Medianama, Sourabh Sharma, CEO of Milaap said that the company intends to enable more payment options, do-it-yourself tools for people to give loans and also raise funds for projects. The challenge, he says, has been trust, transparency and the lack of online giving taking off in India.
Prior to this investment, Milaap had raised $250,000 in seed investments from Unitus Seed Fund, First Light Ventures, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder of One97 and Rajiv Madhok, Founder of Oorja.
Started in 2010, Milaap is a social platform that connects borrowers in different parts of the country with people interested in funding them from across the globe. Persons interested in lending can choose a borrower from the list of borrowers aggregated through field partners and lend money to them. Once the loan is repaid, people can reinvest it or withdraw the money.
The company also offers gift cards for users who want to gift a loan of $25. The repaid loan will get accrued into the recipient of the user’s choice as a gift to them.
The company raises micro-loans in the areas of education, energy, enterprise development, sanitation and water. Some of their field partners include Edubridge, Edulight, Grameen Koota, Safe Hands, among others.
As of June 15, 2013, the company claims to have so far raised over US$816,610 in loans impacting over 24,000 lives across 10 states in India, for a range of needs such as school infrastructure, employment-linked training, seed capital for small businesses, access to clean water & sanitation, among others.
Other platforms: Rang De is also another peer to peer micro-credit lending platform for micro-ventures and businesses in rural parts of India, allowing individuals to make a social investments. World Vision Micro and Kiva are some of the other platforms that offer micro-loans.