Financial services marketplace BankBazaar.com has raised $60 million in a series C round of funding led by Amazon and with participation from Fidelity Growth Partners and Mousse Partners. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Walden International also participated in the Series C funding round.
Started in 2008, the Chennai-based startup offers platform to compare rates between different financial institutions and to apply for the loan online. In July 2014, it had raised Rs 80 crore (around $13 million) from Sequoia Capital and Walden International. In 2011, it raised its $ 6 million Series A round of funding from Walden International.
The company says that the funds will be primarily deployed towards technology integration, hiring and strengthening partner relationships and to upscale its marketing and branding effort to reach out to a larger audience. BankBazaar also said it is investing heavily on its mobile App. “The App delivers a more customized, stable and seamless experience to the consumer. The BankBazaar App, available on both the Android & iOS platforms, not only helps consumers get financial products with ease, but also educates them and helps them manage their finances better,” it said in its release. It claims that presently, 40% of the users connect to BankBazaar through smartphones.
Currently, the portal has tied up with 23 banks and financial institutions for loan, deposit and insurance products.
Snapdeal buying controlling stake in RupeePower
Amazon’s investment in BankBazaar becomes interesting in the light that its rival in India Snapdeal earlier in March bought majority stake in Gurgaon based RupeePower, a similar financial products and services platform. Although the financials of the deal were not made public, post the deal, Snapdeal will offer a financial services marketplace and financial services like home, auto and personal loans, credit cards and extended warranty among other services. Could Amazon also be doing something similar considering that it was reported that Amazon is looking to extend its business loan programme to small sellers in India?
Amazon had launched the programme in 2012 on a limited basis in the United States and Japan typically offers three to six months loans of $1,000 to $600,000 and charges an interest rates ranging from 6-14%. The programme is open to sellers on an invite-only basis. It is interesting to note that Amazon had signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s largest lender State Bank of India last month to fund transactions and seller’s businesses.