BharatPe lending

Ashneer Grover’s quest for a Rs 5,000 crore loan book

Grover’s QR-code payments startup BharatPe is all-in on lending to small businesses, but elusive regulatory permissions and management churn are stumbling blocks.
20 January 2021
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We intend to create a loan book of more than Rs 5,000 crore as of March 2023 for our partner NBFCs,” writes BharatPe co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover, in response to our queries on the payments company’s digital lending goals.

There is no shortage of ambitious startups targeting all kinds of financial services in India today. From Walmart-owned mobile payments company PhonePe to credit card billing and rewards service CRED to Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal’s (potentially) banking-to-insurance company Navi. BharatPe, less than three years old, is right up there with the biggest of them.

Launched in mid-2018, the company offered a simple service—QR codes for small business and stores across India which wanted to accept payments through the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, the instant bank-to-bank transfer system that powers the country’s most popular mobile payment apps. It charges merchants no fees to accept digital payments and claims to have on boarded

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