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Groww forays into lending, will offer pre-approved credit line to users without paperwork

Despite roots in stock trading, the fintech company will now be joining players like CRED and may enter neobanking too.

Groww, an online investment platform similar to the likes of Zerodha and Upstox, will now be offering credit lines to a few users*. The lending vertical, Credit from Groww, will not require any documents as it will be pre-approved based on the transaction history of its users.

Groww has partnered with IDFC First Bank to provide this credit line; the company will not be asking users to pledge collateral against loans, as per the FAQ section in the app. It also said that the interest will be charged on the amount withdrawn and not the limit amount. Users will not be allowed to use this credit line to invest or trade in the stock market.

Groww has been looking to augment its revenue after it raised nearly $250 million at a valuation of $3 billion last year. Entrackr reported that the company clocked operating revenue of nearly half a crore in 2020 with losses worth Rs eight crores.

Groww’s competitors

Credit from Groww will be competing with the likes of CRED Cash, LoanTap, InCred, among others.

  • CRED Cash: The credit line was launched in 2020 offering CRED’s members a pre-approved amount of up to Rs 5,00,000 with no forms, documents, phone calls, or physical visits, according to News18. Kunal Shah said that CRED Cash, its lending tool which has disbursed Rs 2,415 crore in loans to date, has a default rate of less than 1 percent.
  • InCred: The company specialises in lending with a variety of loans like personal, education, and MSME loans. The company offers personal loans of up to Rs 15 lakh.
  • LoanTap: It offers personal loans online after some paperwork and a representative’s visit to people earning more than Rs. 30,000 per month, according to its website.

Groww’s other offerings

Groww started as a stock trading platform that offered mutual funds and fixed deposits on its platform. The company also allows its users to invest in American stocks. It became a unicorn in April 2021 and tripled its valuation within six months.

The company is also looking to enter neobanking (digital-only banking) as it seeks to become a one-stop solution for banking and investment for millennials, according to a report in Entrackr.

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The company used to offer digital gold on its platform until SEBI cracked down on fintech platforms citing a legal breach. A circular was issued by the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) restricting members “from engaging, either as principal or employee, in any business, other than that of securities or commodity derivatives”. It is likely that Groww will have to reckon with SEBI and RBI over its foray into lending.

*Disclaimer: This author has an account with Groww, with investments in stocks and mutual funds. He was offered a credit line by Groww. 

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