India is on its way to becoming one of the top economies globally. Of all the factors driving India in this race, the country’s startup culture is a significant contributor.
Not only is India seeing a rise in the number of startups, but is also witnessing the strong performances of these firms. As of October 2023, India had 111 unicorns (unicorns in finance refer to startups with a valuation of over $1 billion). Entering the unicorn club is Incred with ₹500 crore funding. It has become the second unicorn in 2023, just behind Zepto.
What is new for Incred?
Incred (Incred Financial Services Limited – IFSL), the well-known financial institution in the lending sector, is all set to soar high. The company recently turned a unicorn upon receiving ₹500 crore ($60 million funding). Incred plans to deploy the new funds entirely in its lending business across the different categories.
The firm had raised ₹500 crores (Valued at $68 million at that time) earlier through banks and other financial institutions in a debt funding round.
Founded in 2016, Incred Finance was the brainchild of Bhupinder Singh, an IIM Ahmedabad alumni. Bhupinder Singh worked in Deutsche Bank’s global banking business when he noticed a significant gap between India’s traditional banking systems and modern technologies. He aimed to bridge this gap through Incred.
In 2017, Incred was registered as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) to lend loans to underprivileged consumers. Most of Incred’s customers were those who did not meet the eligibility criteria to avail loans from regular commercial banks.
Over the years, the company has created a base of more than 3.5 lakh customers taking loans under various categories like personal loans, education loans, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) loans and more.
The company now has Incred Capital, Incred Wealth and other entities, to offer services such as wholesale banking, wealth management, etc., and has 39 offices across 27 cities in India. It also has branches in the Middle East and Singapore.
|As of March 2023 (₹ lakhs)
|As of March 2022 (₹ lakhs)
|Revenue from operations
|Profit after tax
Apart from a significant growth in revenue, Incred received an A+ rating from CRISIL in 2023. As of 2023, the company has ₹6,063 crores worth of assets under management and a networth of ₹2,484 crores.
The company disbursed loans worth ₹4,072 crores this year and received a total interest income of ₹467 crores.
Incred has a strong capital adequacy ratio. Compared to the minimum ratio of 15% as recommended by the Reserve Bank of India, Incred has a CRAR, that is twice more than the minimum requirement, at 33.4%.
- Incred’s merger with KKR India Financial Services has been fruitful in increasing the company’s equity base. The two companies together aim to provide customers with world-class facilities and make use of all opportunities for growth in India.
- Incred’s CRAR of 33.4% is one of the highest ratios among companies in the non-banking financial sector. The firm’s net NPA (Net Performing Asset) for the year ending March 2023 was 0.9%, and the gross NPA was 2.1%. This is one of the lowest NPAs among competitors in the NBFC industry. A low NPA ratio signifies the company’s collection and operational efficiency. Incred maintained a collection efficiency of 98% across all four quarters of 2023.
- The company formulates all its plans and strategies with risk management as the primary focus. Incred stays ahead of its peers by using the latest technology to build checks in its processes to ensure risks are managed.
- Incred has a strong Asset and Liability Management strategy in place. The firm constantly works on improving the cost of funding and relies on diverse sources to raise funds. Incred’s ALM has helped the company sail through various lows, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Incred’s focus area is another highlight, distinguishing the firm from its competitors. The company mainly focuses on underprivileged customers who are not covered by most of the other lending institutions. The company also runs various impact projects to promote education among the deprived, eradicating poverty, increasing environmental sustainability, etc.
NBFC sector in India
India had 9,471 registered NBFCs as of February 2023.
It is fair to call the financial sector the backbone of any economy. While agriculture, manufacturing, services and other sectors are equally essential, everything boils down to money to keep the economy running.
NBFCs form an integral part of the financial sector as they bridge the gap between customers and commercial banks. By serving the section of customers ignored by commercial banks, with faster and easier loan approvals, NBFCs play a significant role in developing the country’s rural population.
The sector is also expected to contribute immensely towards India becoming the third-largest economy by the end of this decade. The future of NBFCs in India will primarily rely on advanced technology. With new features coming in every day, technology is expected to reduce turnaround times, use resources better and make the lending process easier for NBFCs.
Incred, being a popular name in the industry, hopes to follow the same path and be part of every Indian family’s financial aspirations.
Despite India being a startup hub, not many firms have been able to reach the $1 billion milestone. Incred is the second company in 2023, after Zepto, to have touched the mark and entered the unicorn league. The ₹500 crores raised as part of the Series D funding is expected to aid the company’s lending operation, across different loan categories.
The latest news of the funding has turned many eyes and ears towards Incred. Whether the company will succeed in its mission and grow bigger is something we must wait and watch!