The Money Club, an India-based FinTech startup has raised $1.7 million in a pre-Series A round led by Venture Catalysts and SOSV. The funding round also saw participation from other investors including LetsVenture, Blume Founders Fund, Keiretsu Forum, Astrac Ventures, LIV Advisors, and Rockstud Capital.
The Money Club leverages artificial intelligence algorithms to effectively underwrite high frequency, micro pooling of funds by reviewing the user behavior. Its P2P group savings platform enables the lower-middle class population to invest, borrow, and save digitally.
The FinTech platform acts as an AI-based chit fund cashier in the form of an android application. The Money Club delivers a larger value proposition to investors, savers, as well as borrowers when compared to other options that are available in the Indian market.
With this fresh funding, The Money Club plans to disrupt country’s hugely unorganized chit fund sector which is worth $50 billion and aims to bring better transparency and higher security.
The founder and CEO of The Money Club, Manuraj Jain, said, “Users have been pooling money for over 700 years and this market has been growing at 15 per cent CAGR for the past 10 years. High onboarding barriers and lack of innovation in savings products have driven 180 million in India to resort to pooling funds illegally in the form of committees, beesi, chitty and chit funds and expose themselves to fraud and loss of their hard-earned money. Our vision is to make a Savings product that is relevant, lucrative, safe, secure and transparent for over 40 crore low middle income people of India.”
He added, “We want to build the world’s largest AI-embedded money pooling platform from Bharat. An overwhelming response from our users and getting oversubscribed in this round by our investors provide us with the fillip to grow faster.”
“Money Club has been a pioneer in fostering economic empowerment through its solution, bringing trust and transparency to financial transactions for millions of people in India. Money Club’s AI-enabled underwriting model is a game-changer that will streamline capital flows for the whole nation,” said William Bao Bean, General Partner at SOSV in a statement.
The Money Club was founded in 2016 by IIT Kharagpur alumni, a premier engineering institute in India, Manuraj Jain and Surajit Ray. The platform has acquired more than 200,000 users and has soared to 500% in the last one year. As per the company, the users have pooled about $5.3 million (Rs40 crores) by establishing 17,000 money clubs.
According to Sarita Raichura, Blume Founders’ Fund, “Peer-to-peer lending and money pooling clubs have been a part of society for generations now, albeit in an unorganized format prone to cheating and vulnerable to being influenced by certain powerful members. We believe Bharat is ready for this age-old practice to be available at their fingertips.”