Lentra AI, an Indian embedded AI-based finance startup, has raised $60 million in a Series B round that values the startup at over $400 million. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Susquehanna International Group (SIG) led the round with strategic participation also from Citi Ventures, a subsidiary of the New York-based investment banking giant Citigroup.
This is Citi Ventures’ first investment in a fintech out of India, and this round overall underscores how far the fintech and embedded finance ecosystem have come along in recent years. Lentra, which is profitable, has been growing at a very fast pace. In 2019, its first year of operations, it registered $1 million from its “annual consumption rate” — this term relates to the amount of revenue Lentra makes based on usage of its APIs. As of this year, that figure is up to $10 million, and it is projected to hit $100 million in 2024.
The Mumbai-based startup works with commercial banks to power their digital loan services. HDFC Bank, Federal Bank, Standard Chartered and IDFC First Bank are some of its key customers. Overall, Lentra has more than 50 clients and has processed over 13 billion transactions and $21 billion worth of loans since its launch. The startup currently has Mumbai as its number one market, followed by Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru. It has a team of 500 people that is aimed to grow to 800 to support the ongoing plans. According to D Venkatesh, the founder and CEO of the startup, Lentra AI achieved all this growth without hiring a single sales executive until April this year.
“Lentra is our first fintech investment in India, and we are very excited about the team’s ability to develop and scale low-friction software solutions for lenders. As a global bank, we look forward to Lentra scaling their products and platform internationally.”Everett Leonidas, Director & APAC Lead Investor, Citi Ventures