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BlackSoil invests Rs 35 crore in five startups

Leading venture debt player BlackSoil, today announced that it has provided ₹35 Cr of growth capital in the form of Venture Debt to five distinguished startups, namely a two-wheeler vehicle financing company – Orange, marketing automation platform – WebEngage, D2C FMCG brand – Habanero Foods, a fintech offering personal loans – CASHe and a leading branded generic pharma company.

Commenting on the same, Ankur Bansal, Co-Founder, and Director of BlackSoil said, “We are delighted to announce our investments in new-age growth sectors like D2C, FinTech, marketing automation, etc. These companies have shown tremendous growth in their segments and are backed by experienced management and marquee investors. Their unique business positioning and ability to survive through adversities like Covid is what made these companies an attractive proposition for BlackSoil. We are optimistic that our debt capital will help these companies take their businesses to the next level and we will continue to support them throughout their journey.”

Orange Retail Finance is a Chennai-based, new two-wheeler financing company. Rural & semi-urban regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala are the target markets of the company. Orange operates through 85 branches in 11,200+ villages across these 5 states and currently serving 88,500 customers accumulating to ₹335 Cr+ AUM. Orange primarily serves the underserved segments with a focus on financial inclusion and therefore the majority of its customers are new to credit. Orange is backed by marquee institutions & sophisticated HNIs like Granite Hill Opportunities Fund, Ashvin Chaddha & IAS Balamurugan (Founders of Anicut Capital), VP Nandkumar (CEO of Manappuram Finance), Jitendra Gupta (Founder of Jupiter Neo Bank), etc.

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WebEngage is a Mumbai-based full-stack marketing automation platform that offers cloud solutions for customer engagement and retention. The company caters to various industries like E-Commerce, Travel / Hospitality, BFSI, Gaming, Ed-Tech, Media, and Entertainment. It has its presence in India, Middle East, North Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and others. The company has 300+ paying customers and is backed by India Quotient, Indian Angel Network, NB Ventures, Blume Ventures, etc.

Habanero is an omnichannel brand selling continental cooking sauces/salsa, ready to cook pasta sauces, tortilla wraps, etc. through their website, marketplaces as well as retail. It operates in the affordable premium segment with products based on authentic international recipes. Habanero’s products are present in 1,000+ retail stores in 18+ cities across India. In FY21, despite the pandemic, the company’s sales grew >170% YoY. It was founded by industry veteran Mr. Griffith David (ex-Intel & Yahoo) who also runs one of the most successful Subway franchises in India.

CASHe is a Mumbai-based FinTech providing personal loans and “buy now, pay later” products to salaried individuals through an app and a proprietary underwriting algorithm based on alternate data. The company has disbursed ₹3,000 Cr to date and has borrowers pan-India with a current AUM of ₹400+ Cr.

BlackSoil has also provided debt to a leading branded generic pharmaceutical company. The company has products across therapeutic segments including consumer healthcare, respiratory care, primary care, diabetes care, and women’s health. It has a pan-India presence and robust distribution network covering 1.5+ Lakh retail pharmacies. The company will primarily use the funds to meet its growth-led working capital requirements.

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