Propelld, a financial technology startup that enables student education loans, has raised $35 million in Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital along with existing investors, Stellaris Venture Partners and India Quotient.
With the latest round of funding, the Bengaluru-based startup plans to grow the loan book rapidly in a segment with low credit penetration, and offer new products for various verticals within education. Currently employing around 150, Propelld also plans to add another 100-150 employees over the next year across technology, business development and collections.
Founded in 2017 by IIT Madras trio of Bibhu Prasad Das, Victor Senapaty and Brijesh Samantaray, Propelld helps provide financing to students pursuing vocational training in areas ranging from machine learning to hospitality management. The startup uses a proprietary employability-based underwriting algorithm to assess the future employment prospects and creditworthiness of its customers. It caters to those who do not have access to formal bank credit.
Speaking about the capital raised, Co-founder and CEO of Propelld, Bibhu Prasad Das, said,
"We would like to thank all our institute and lending partners who have believed in us. With the latest capital infusion we will strive towards building better financial products for the educational ecosystem which will further benefit our partners."
Propelld is on a mission to revolutionize the face of financing for the entire education ecosystem. The company has tie-ups with over 550 educational institutes and is currently clocking an annual loan disbursal run rate of INR 600 crore.
Deepak Ramineedi, Partner of WestBridge Capital, has also responded to the latest funding, saying,
"India spends over $90 billion annually in education, however the financial penetration is still very low. Propelld aims to address this gap and increase education loan accessibility to students through tech based products. We believe Propelld will become the go-to financial player in the Education domain just as we’ve seen strong vertical-focused financial players in other domains like Affordable Housing, SME Lending, Consumer Durables etc. Propelld is already profitable and has consistently maintained excellent credit quality."
With a strong foothold in the EdTech, up-skilling, and job-focused market, Propelld is keeping an eye on expanding its operations in other education segments too.
Ritesh Banglani, Partner of Stellaris Venture Partners, added:
"What is exciting for us is how the team has thought about leveraging technology from the ground up in all aspects of the company’s operations which is one of the secret sauces of them being highly efficient."
In 2019, Propelld had raised $2 million in a funding round led by Stellaris Venture Partners and India Quotient. The round was also backed by existing investor India Angel Network Fund (IAN Fund), and other investors, including Raghunandan G, founder of Taxiforsure and Ramakant Sharma, founder of Livspace, who participated as members of Stellaris’ Founder Network.