Propelld, founded by IIT Madras graduates in 2019, aims to democratize education through flexible loan options

Propelld: Pioneering Access to Education with Innovative Lending Solutions

Propelld, a Bengaluru-based fintech startup focused on education, has made significant strides in democratizing access to education through its innovative financial solutions. The company recently raised $25 million in debt for its wholly-owned non-banking financial company (NBFC), Edgro Finance. This funding round, supported by nine lenders including Credit Saison India Private Limited, AU Small Finance Bank, InCred Financial Services Limited, and Northern Arc Capital Limited, marks another milestone in Propelld’s mission to empower students with flexible loan options.

Founded in 2019 by IIT Madras graduates Bibhu Prasad Das, Victor Senapaty, and Brijesh Samantaray, Propelld has quickly become a key player in the education financing sector. The startup offers various financial products, such as Study Now and Pay Later options and Income Sharing Agreements (ISAs), through Edgro Finance. These products are designed to provide students with accessible, collateral-free loans, making education more attainable for many.

Expanding Reach and Enhancing Offerings

Nikunj Agarwal, Head of Debt and Lending Alliance at Propelld, emphasized the importance of this recent funding in furthering the company’s mission. “As Edgro continues to expand its reach and enhance our offerings, we are grateful for the robust support from our financial partners, which enables us to further the mission of democratising education and empowering more students,” Agarwal stated. He also highlighted Edgro’s proactive approach in seeking bank borrowings and co-lending partners to broaden its impact.

Prior to this debt round, Propelld had successfully raised $35 million in a Series B funding round in February 2022. This round was led by WestBridge Capital, with participation from existing investors Stellaris Venture Partners and India Quotient. This substantial financial backing has allowed Propelld to strengthen its foothold in the education sector, enabling the startup to offer more flexible and student-friendly loan options.

Innovative Financial Solutions

Propelld’s innovative approach to education financing sets it apart from traditional lenders. By working with over 2,000 educational institutes across various segments including edtech, K12, universities, schools, and upskilling platforms, Propelld ensures that students have access to the financial support they need. The company’s products are designed to alleviate the financial burden on students, particularly those from tier 2 and tier 3 cities where access to accredited lenders is limited.

The introduction of collateral-free education financing is a significant step towards making education accessible to all. Many students in smaller cities and towns often resort to high-interest loans from private lenders or by pledging gold, which adds to their financial burden. Propelld’s innovative products, such as ISAs, align the repayment terms with the student’s future income, ensuring that the financial burden is manageable and aligned with their earning potential.

Robust Growth and Low NPAs

Propelld’s performance metrics further underscore its success and reliability in the education lending sector. The startup boasts an impressive annual disbursal run rate of Rs 1,200 crore and maintains Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) below 1%. This robust performance indicates a strong and effective risk management framework, ensuring that both the company and its borrowers are well-supported.

Edgro Finance, which commenced operations in October last year, is a critical component of Propelld’s strategy to enhance its service offerings and expand its market reach. The recent debt raise of $25 million is a testament to the company’s strong operational foundation and its commitment to providing innovative financial solutions.

Strategic Lending Partnerships

Propelld’s strategy includes forming multiple lending partnerships to bolster its financial capabilities. In addition to Edgro, the company collaborates with Avanse Financial Services, Aditya Birla Capital, and JM Financial as digital lending partners. These partnerships are crucial in scaling Propelld’s operations and extending its reach to more students across the country.

The education lending sector holds significant growth potential, particularly in underserved regions. Propelld’s focus on tier 2 and tier 3 cities addresses a critical need, where students often face difficulties in securing finances. By offering flexible and accessible loan options, Propelld is effectively bridging the gap and enabling more students to pursue their educational aspirations without the looming burden of high-interest loans from private lenders.

Future Prospects

As Propelld continues to grow and innovate, its impact on the education sector is likely to expand. The startup’s commitment to making education accessible through innovative financial solutions positions it well for future success. With strong support from financial partners and a clear mission, Propelld is set to further democratize access to education in India.

The company’s future plans include broadening its product offerings and deepening its partnerships with educational institutes and lenders. This strategic expansion will not only enhance Propelld’s market presence but also ensure that more students across the country can benefit from its services. By continuously innovating and adapting to the needs of its customers, Propelld aims to remain at the forefront of the education lending sector.

Conclusion

Propelld’s journey from a startup to a key player in the education financing sector is a testament to its innovative approach and commitment to its mission. By providing flexible and accessible loan options, Propelld is making education attainable for many students, particularly in underserved regions. The recent $25 million debt raise for Edgro Finance underscores the company’s robust growth and its potential for future success. As Propelld continues to expand its reach and enhance its offerings, it remains dedicated to empowering students and democratizing access to education.

Himanshi
Himanshi

Himanshi is a dedicated content writer. With a keen eye for detail and a flair for storytelling, she strives to bring stories to life through her words.

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