BENGALURU : lipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, through his investment firm Navi Technologies, will focus on the financial services sector, including insurance and banking. Navi Technologies said on Friday that its microfinance arm, Chaitanya India Fin Credit Pvt. Ltd (CIFCPL), has formally approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a universal banking licence.
Bansal founded Navi Technologies after moving out of Flipkart in May 2018, following the homegrown e-commerce major’s takeover by global retailing giant Walmart. He also backed several tech startups across sectors.
Last September, he became the CEO of Bengaluru-based microlender Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Pvt. Ltd (CRIDS), after buying a majority stake in the firm for ₹739 crore. CRIDS runs Bengaluru-based CIFCPL, which operates in the secured and unsecured credit space.
The move comes days after International Finance Corp. (IFC) proposed to invest up to $30 million in Navi for a 4.5% stake. IFC said in a disclosure that CIFCPL has made an application to the RBI for a universal banking licence under the 2016 guidelines for ‘on tap’ licencing of universal banks.
“IFC’s investment in NAVI is to support the transformation of CIFCPL into a technology-led universal bank, or NAVI Bank, which would provide mass-market banking solutions for individuals and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and select corporates,” it said.
CIFCPL has applied for the licence to go beyond financial inclusion by making banking simple, accessible and affordable via a consumer-centric and technology-driven approach, Navi Technologies said in a statement on Friday.
“Our vision is to go beyond what hitherto has been broadly defined as ‘financial inclusion’ and provide access to formal financial services using technology that people can use intuitively and easily,” Bansal, who is also the CEO of Navi Technologies, said in the statement.
Among the various recent investments in the financial services sector, Bansal has acquired DHFL General Insurance from Wadhawan Global Capital for around ₹100 crore.
The acquisition was reported first by The Economic Times on 10 January.