Micro MSME Fintech ARTH has secured $2.5 Million in funding led by most experienced institutions DEG – Deutsche Entwicklungs- und Investitionsgesellschaft / subsidiary of KfW, MIT Alumni and top notch impact-driven US & Canadian angel investors.
This takes the total funding raised by ARTH to $3.5 Million with the initial personal investment made by the founder, friends & family. The fresh round of funding will be used to expand the suite of financial services being offered to ultimately be a single point platform for Micro MSMEs. The funds will also be used for strengthening the technology capabilities and building robust risk management systems to meet the scale requirements.
ARTH started by solo women founder Shweta Aprameya in 2018, is a regulated MSME Fintech targeting a multi-billion- dollar credit gap, in India’s micro and nano businesses. ARTH’s primary focus is to increase access of affordable formal financial services to these businesses to create a transformational impact on their lives with focus on gender financing. ARTH purpose is to drive “active” finance – helping these businesses grow their income with our active involvement through services & tools for their businesses.
Since its inception, ARTH has been able to stay revenue and bottom-line focused bootstrapped Fintech Start Up. The company currently provides well-priced working capital, embedded insurance and income generating payment services through its financial services platform especially designed for micro MSMEs. The fintech has already facilitated 3,50,000 credit & insurance across India ; many of whom are new to formal credit.
“ARTH is on a mission to engage, support and service millions of capital starved underserved entrepreneurs through a well-balanced data driven phydigital distribution model that works for the segment. I believe the time has come for us to shoulder this responsibility together with the customer and design services to suit their complex business environment. At ARTH, we are trying to bring this refreshing change in financial services approach to being a proactive financing partner to the Micro MSME.” Said Shweta Aprameya, Founder ARTH.
“We are one of the first movers in the market who have been able to build an integrated credit & payment solution for the micro-MSME through last mile collaborative partnership model. The model also reduces the information gap that exists for underwriting the segment and hence improve access to formal credit. For financial institutions like ours, the model allows us to go deeper and faster in Indian markets with well evolved data and decision-making tools.”
The company plans to scale to 1 million nano & micro business owners through its phydigital model offering both credit & payments services with the aim to become a dominant revenue generating start up for the MSME segment in India.
“DEG is happy to fund the growth of ARTH. Access to affordable credit for micro businesses is a huge gap in India and the right product can bring large scale impact in the sector. Thus a contribution is also made to the UN-Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), for example a reduction of poverty and creation of decent jobs. . ARTH has already shown strong track record as a young start up with a strong business foundation and good governance. We are delighted to support the leadership to take this mission forward and impact the success of micro MSMEs and the lives of their owners in India,” said Petra Kotte, Head of DEG’s division Banking & German Business.
ARTH has been able to build a strong business and customer base even during COVID. The very nature of their model, to keep “customer” at the heart of their business with a well-balanced technology and partnership distribution model which makes them different from most other Fintech lending players in the market. The ARTH team has some impressive accomplishments during the pandemic with various foundations and impact agencies to support the customers. Shweta has the right blend of business and technology acumen supported by an impact-driven purpose and I am happy to support her and the ARTH team in this journey”, as added by Mr. Brian J. Bailey, a U.S. based Fintech executive and early stage investor.
“I can honestly say that no investment decision so far has given me so much personal satisfaction as the one I made recently in ARTH. After spending time with the founder and her team, I was convinced about the huge need for a fintech service like ARTH in a fast-expanding economy like India. ARTH is based on a philosophy that offers a chance to India’s millions of women who run microbusinesses. ARTH makes it easier for them to access capital, makes them a part of a sophisticated 21st century digital network and offers them continuous hand holding. This level of support for a section of Indian women who wish to stand on their own feet, and work hard and contribute to their family and community, will have an impact far beyond mere bottom lines,” said Ritesh Malik, an early stage impact investor & advisor.