Accel, Elevar & others back Alok Mittal’s startup Indifi

Alok Mittal Indifi Technologies Pvt Ltd, a startup floated by angel investor and former India chief of venture capital firm Canaan Partners Alok Mittal that runs an online platform connecting small businesses with formal lending institutions, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Accel Partners and Elevar Equity among others. The startup has also raised money from Pramod Bhasin (founder and former CEO of Genpact), Rajan Anandan (vice president & managing director, Google, South East Asia & India), Gaurav Dalmia, Abhishek Goyal, Gagan Hasteer and Arun Tadanki. Mittal, co-founder and CEO, Indifi, said that MSMEs suffer from formal debt financing gap. “Proliferation of data in this space has created a unique opportunity to address this gap. At Indifi, we collect demographic, business and financial data, and analyse it to assist these businesses in securing credit from banks and NBFCs,” he said. He added that Indifi seeks to improve access, reduce the overall credit operations cost by 50-60 per cent, and enable disbursements within a mere four days from application. Indifi said it takes a segment specific approach and lending products in any given segment are tightly integrated with the business cash flows and transactional linkages in that segment. Currently, Indifi is live in three business segments across travel, transportation and retail sectors. The company’s business model revolves around a fee for services provided to lenders – from marketing, to data collection and analysis, and on-ground documentation and verification. Indifi is already working with two financial institutions who lend through the Indifi platform. Indifi is looking at businesses that require loans in the Rs 5-50 lakh range. It also assists institutions in monitoring the possible risk of default on an ongoing basis by analysing transactions undertaken by borrowers over the tenure of the loan. 43-year old Alok Mittal, who is returning back to his entrepreneurial roots after more than a decade, floated the five-month old startup along with Siddharth Mahanot and Sundeep Sahi. Mahanot has previously worked with Indiabulls Housing Finance, Edelweiss Financial, Citibank and ICICI Bank. Sahi has previously co-founded eLiveBooks and has worked with firms like Talisma, Clickable, Microsoft and in his last role was chief product officer at BSB, a digital ventures JV between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank. Mittal, who had joined Canaan in 2006, quit the VC firm last year. Canaan eventually exited India and its entire portfolio was acquired this year by JP Morgan Asset Management. Prior to joining Canaan, Mittal co-founded JobsAhead.com, a web-based recruitment business, which was acquired by Monster.com. Mittal is also co-founder of Indian Angel Network. An active angel investor, Mittal has made a string of personal investments in the recent past. He has positions in CueLearn, WedMeGood, JustRide, Bite Club, Capabiliti, Cardback.in, Envoged and GlobalTHEN among other firms.