In order to strengthen its new consumer-lending business, Bengaluru-based fintech firm Capital Float has acquired personal financial management app Walnut in a deal valued at $30 million (nearly Rs 209 crore).
As a part of the acquisition, Walnut’s founders Amit Bhor and Patanjali Somayaji will be joining the senior management team. The other 35 team member will be also absorbed into Capital Float, which will bring the total headcount at Capital Float to 650.
The deal marks as the first acquisition made by lending firm Capital Float to help strengthen its new consumer-lending business which was started in June this year. It will also help Capital Float to use Walnut’s credit assessment model, which captures data from alternative sources such as income and purchase capacity, to extend credit lines to new customers.
“We loved the new platform named Walnut Prime, which is a credit line product, and (Walnut’s) acquisition will help us strengthen the consumer-lending vertical that we started a few months ago,” said Gaurav Hinduja, co-founder of Capital Float.
Started in 2014, Pune-based Walnut is a personal finance management app which allows its users to split funds between friends, do bill payments, track user spends and check card and bank balances and do peer to peer transactions. The startup is backed by Sequoia and SAIF Partners, it has around 7 million downloads of its mobile app and about 1 million monthly active users and 300,000 daily active users. Interestingly, the development comes at a time when the Pune-based Walnut was reportedly in talks with InCred Finance who is seeking to invest around Rs 50 crore into it.
In July 2017, Walnut launched “Walnut Prime”, an instant credit line that users can access on the app anywhere, anytime. This app-based credit line is centered on Walnut’s “Prime Credit Score”, which allows its users to access consumer loans up to INR 1 lakh to be directly moved into their bank accounts. The startup has already crossed the Rs 100 crore-mark in loans to users on its mobile app. Furthermore, Capital Float would wants to push up those numbers by expanding Walnut’s coverage significantly from around eight locations currently.
With the current acquisition, Capital Float will likely compete with CoinTribe, EarlySalary, NeoGrowth, Paytm-backed CreditMate, CASHe, PaySense, LendingKart, MoneyTap, Faircent, Loantap, LazyPay, amongst others.