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Fintech platforms

SoftBank-backed Balance Hero raises $10 mn in debt funding from India

Mar 31, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SoftBank-backed Balance Hero raises  mn in debt funding from India

South Korean fintech startup Balance Hero has raised around $10 million in debt funding led by the India-based non-banking financial company (NBFC) Northern Arc, the company said in a statement on Mar. 31.

The latest funding marks a significant milestone for the fintech platform as it highlights Balance Hero's growing presence and marketability in India. It also reflects the Indian market's confidence in the firm's business model – providing loan products for users with little access to credit. 

“Despite the COVID-19 crisis, we were able to show the potential and profitability of loan services in India over the past year,” said Lee Cheol-won, the chief executive of Balance Hero.

The SoftBank-backed fintech startup operates True Balance, a platform that offers financial services for users with low credit – the under-banked and financially excluded households in India.

The app was first released in 2014 for users to check their remaining pre-paid phone balances, but it eventually branched out to offer a variety of services including insurance, commerce and loans via a machine learning-based alternative credit scoring (ACS) system. The same year, the company secured Series A funding from SoftBank Ventures.

Graphics by Jerry Lee
Graphics by Jerry Lee

According to Lee, the company plans to use the funding to reach the breakeven point by beefing up its digital lending operations.

The startup also aims to further solidify its unrivaled position as a financial platform in India by upgrading its loan products alongside improving existing services such as payments, commerce and insurance. 

Last November, Balance Hero raised 30 billion won ($28 million) in Series D funding from domestic venture capital firms. So far, the company has secured around $125 million in total via its funding rounds.

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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