Indian e-commerce marketplace Flipkart has partnered with SMEcorner, an online financing platform for SMEs, to help sellers on its platform finance their businesses.
The partnership will help sellers to access loans from banks and NBFCs (non banking financial companies) without the hassle of dealing with middlemen.
“Besides Flipkart, we also look to tie-up with other e-commerce sites, large B2B portals and SME chambers,” Samir Bhatia founder and CEO of SME Corner.com told BusinessLine.
A huge gap exists in debt financing in the SME sector, which SMEcorner.com is looking to bridge. According to data collected by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), around 41 per cent of SMEs in India do not have access to bank loans or other related products offered by financial institutions.
SMEcorner.com offers four kinds of loans – loan against property, working capital loan, unsecured business loan and loan for medical equipment. When sellers on Flipkart require financing, they will be referred to the loan company. SMEs can access the site via a button on Flibkart’s site, and apply for a loan online.
After a preliminary credit rating, the information will be passed to the company’s partner banks and financial institutions.
“Unlike middlemen, we do not charge a fee to the SME sellers but get paid by the financial institutions for our services. We are looking to partner with many more financial institutions” said Bhatia.
At present, Flipkart has 5,000 sellers on board, of which 50 per cent are SMEs. Having partnered with FISME (Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises and NCDPD (National Centre for Design and Product Development), Flipkart is looking to attract 50,000 SMEs to sell on its platform by August 2015.