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Amazon-backed buy now, pay later platform Capital Float raises $50 million

Capital Float, an Amazon-backed startup that offers its buy now, pay later service on many popular online platforms in India including that of the e-commerce firm, said on Tuesday it has raised $50 million in a new financing round following a strong growth in recent quarters.

Lightrock India led the Bangalore-based startup’s Series D financing round, which brings the seven-year-old firm’s all-time raise to over $200 million (more than half of which is in debt). Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, Creation Investments as well as high-profile entrepreneurs David Vélez of Nubank, Kunal Shah of CRED and Amrish Rau of Pine Labs also participated in the new round.

Capital Float reaches customers through partnerships with other firms. It’s a lending partner for many popular online platforms including Amazon India, online learning service Unacademy, airline Spicejet, direct-to-consumers lifestyle and electronics brand Boat and travel booking firm MakeMyTrip. Their customers can make their purchases via a loan at the time of check out, explained Sashank Rishyasringa, co-founder of the startup, in an interview with TechCrunch.

The startup also has partnerships with payments firm Razorpay to reach small and medium-sized businesses and with Walnut to offer personal finance to customers.

Capital Float has amassed over 2.5 million customers. These customers, who make over 2 million purchases a month, are using the service to finance over $271 million a year, the startup said. Most of the startup’s focus over the year has been in the online space, said Rishyasringa.

“Our customer base has more than quadrupled in the last 12 months, and our collection efficiency was still more than 95% during this period when many other firms were witnessing a drop,” he said.

The buy now, pay later market remains at a nascent stage in India, where only a fraction of the population has a credit card. But a handful of startups including Capital Float, ZestMoney and LazyPay are beginning to show traction in the market.

The low penetration of credit cards in India has meant that very few people in the nation have a traditional credit score that banks heavily rely on to establish one’s credit worthiness before issuing them a loan. Moreover, small loans don’t generate lucrative returns for banks, giving them less incentive to write such cheques.

Half of Capital Float’s user base today doesn’t have a credit card, said Rishyasringa.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

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