Avail Finance enters into a strategic partnership with Ola
Online lending start-up Avail Finance has entered into a strategic partnership with India’s largest mobility platform, Ola, to build financial solutions for its base of 1.5 million driver-partners. As part of this partnership, Ola will be making a strategic investment in Avail Finance in its Series A round of funding. The company has already raised $9 million in the round led by Matrix Partners.
Avail aims to build customised financial solutions for Ola, which is India’s largest platform of service providers in the internet economy. This will include micro-savings and micro-insurance products for Ola’s driver partners.
Ankush Aggarwal, Founder at Avail Finance said, “We are excited to join hands with Ola at this stage of our journey. We are energised about this partnership and the opportunity to serve Ola’s large base of driver-partners. We already have close to a million registered users through our various offerings and have processed requests of over $50mn. This strategic partnership will further help us expand our offerings to a large, growing base of users with very unique needs.”
Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD, Matrix India said, “Avail’s vision is to provide a comprehensive financial solution for low-income users starting with the gig-economy. They’ve executed quickly on this vision to build an early leadership position working closely with many like minded partners. With a deep Ola partnership, Avail can now unlock truly unique benefits for Ola’s driver-partners. We’re privileged to partner with both companies and look forward to the journey“
Puneet Bhirani, COO of Ola said, “Avail’s innovative portfolio of new-age financial solutions are very relevant for Ola’s large and growing base of driver-partners. We are constantly looking at ways to enhance their quality of life and we see this partnership with Avail, helping our partners with access to financial offerings that are tailored to their needs.”
Avail Finance provides unsecured online loans, amongst other financial solutions, to the blue-collared workforce of India, hitherto untapped and unserved by the traditional financial sector. According to a recent jobs report, this segment currently accounts for nearly 78 percent of India’s workforce with an additional 2 million+ blue-collared jobs are expected to be created in the next 12 months. This segment largely comprises of drivers, security guards, beauticians, construction, manufacturing, domestic and maintenance workers, among others. Within this population, the income fluctuates vastly and banking institutions are typically reluctant to offer them financial services. In addition to small ticket size loans, Avail also offers micro insurance and micro savings products tailored for the blue-collared workforce, helping them even out their cash flows.
Avail Finance believes it is imperative to include this sector within the ambit of the banking universe, and build a financial history with multiple product offerings like Personal Loans, Salary advances, savings etc using the company’s online mobile application.