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Xiaomi and others invest $8M in microlending platform KrazyBee

Microlending platform KrazyBee has raised $8 million (about 51.8 crore) from Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Technologies and Chinese venture capital firm Shunwei Capital, with participation from the Essel Group, reports VCCircle. Prior to this round, KrazyBee had raised $2 million from Chinese microlending platform Fenquile and VC firm YeahMobi in June 2016. It had also raised $3 million from VC firm Plum Ventures and existing investors.

The funds will be used to continue work on the product, especially the risk model it employs, and geographical expansion. KrazyBee is currently operational in close to 800 colleges in Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Mysore, Vellore, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Nashik and Manipal.

KrazyBee offers students and young professional with no credit history or access to credit cards the option to make installment-based purchases on e-commerce marketplaces, recharge mobile wallets, or get loans to pay tuition fees, for a laptop or bike, among others.

How it works?

User registers with KrazyBee and submits required documents such as ID proof, address proof, bank account details, etc. Then they can place an order, following which there will be a one-time campus verification and signing of the loan agreement. After this the order gets approved and the user makes the down payment and receives the product.

Xiaomi’s India plans

Earlier this year, in March, Xiaomi’s Founder and CEO Lei Jun spoke about six things that are part of the company’s plans for India:

  • Plans to increase offline market share
  • New manufacturing plant
  • More warehouses and service centres
  • Open for tie-ups and investments with startups
  • On the upcoming product line in India and plans to enter the financial sector
  • On Creating new jobs and revenue targets

Xiaomi has reportedly crossed $1 billion in revenue from its India operations. During Q2 2016, Xiaomi’s Mi Band shipments accounted for 10.3% of overall Indian wearable market. In Q3 2016, the company debuted among the top 5 smartphone vendors list (in terms of shipments) according to IDC. It currently holds second place in the Indian market in terms of shipments. Apart from this, Xiaomi introduced three new flagship products (other than smartphones) in India: the Mi VRAir Purifier 2, and Mi Router 3C.

Mi Pay

Last year, Xiaomi had launched its own payments service called Mi Pay, which was the company’s first major foray into financial services. Mi Pay can hold up to eight cards per user and requires card number and verification. This card number gets tokenized similar to Apple Pay and Android Pay. Users need tap their phone on an NFC payment terminal, and the default credit or debit card is charged. The wallet sends a one-time transaction number and encrypted security code that won’t work for any other device, person, or purchase.

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