Spending first few years of his career working on the Wall Street and leaving his Hedge fund job to start Amazon, Jeff Bezos is all set for his big break to return to the world of finance. Amazon seems to be active on this front, a few days back it announced that the company would lend short term loans to it’s vendors and just when the Samaritans were feeling left out, what do you know, Bezos buys a stake in BankBazaar.com!
Virtual Financial marketplace, BankBazaar.com raised Rs.375 ($ 60 million) cr in it’s third round with Amazon, Fidelity Growth Partners and Mousse Partners funding it. In 2011, the startup had raised $ 6 million from Walden International (Series A funding) and followed by $ 13million from Walden and Sequoia Capital (Series B funding) in 2014.
Bankbazaar.com is the first non-banking online financial lending services company that helps bankers meet prospective borrowers. With customized loan rates, it sells personal, car, education and home loans online without much paper work. It even provides insurance of all sorts like motor, life and health insurance in competition with policy bazaar.
The company announced India’s first flash sale for credit cards on June 22nd , 2015 and every credit card buyer was given a e-gift voucher of Rs.1500 on approval of the credit card. Selling financial services like any other merchandise, the company is changing the conventional habit of banking. As Ms Padukone says in one of her Axis Bank commercials, “Bank jaane ke liye, bank jaane ki kya zaroorat hain”, without realizing she promoted the idea of BankBazaar.com.
The founders Adhil Shetty, Rati Rajkumar and Arjun Shetty founded BankBazaar.com as A& A Dukaan Pvt Limited with a modest capital of Rs.200,000 in 2008. Soon enough they received seed capital of $ 1 million from AVT Infotech and now their revenue stands at $ 90 million. For Arjun Shetty who was previously employed with Amazon, now to have his previous employer as his investor is quite a story.
Headquartered in Chennai, the company has 140+ employees and has operations in Bangalore and Mumbai. The funds raised in this round, the founders intend to use it towards technology updating, recruitments and building their customer base.
“With the rapidly evolving online consumer segment across categories, we have seen great demand for this platform. We are currently looking to expand the category as we reinvest all earnings in growing the business intelligently,” BankBazaar.com’s Chief Executive Officer Adhil Shetty was quoted saying. At present the company is working in pursuit of developing it’s app on Android and iOS platforms, as the company attracts 40% of it’s traffic from smartphones.
Only a few days back rival Snapdeal too made a strategic investment in a financial marketplace company called RupeePower.com. Acquiring a majority stake in the company, Snapdeal seems very pleased with their investment in a 4 year old new entrant. Now suddenly financial markets are the hot investments on the chart. Will these investments yield any results at all is a question that time will answer.