BharatPe launches investment platform for merchants after Ashneer Grover saga

BharatPe launches investment platform for merchants after Ashneer Grover saga
Ashneer Grover, former founder and managing director of BharatPe; Suhail Sameer, CEO of BharatPeBharatPe

With an aim to leave behind the Ashneer Grover controversy and bring business on track, fintech platform BharatPe on Thursday launched an investment platform for its merchant partners.

In the first phase, the company is going live with peer-to-peer (P2P) investments and bank-deposit products with its partners on the platform.

The P2P investment product is being powered through RBI regulated non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) LenDenClub and Liquiloans.

BharatPe said in a statement that it is also working on providing its merchants an option to invest in fixed deposits by Unity Small Finance Bank.

“We believe that it should be the merchant who should have the power to decide which investment product and which partner he/she would like to invest with,” said Suhail Sameer, CEO, BharatPe.

With the P2P lending product, merchants will have an option to earn interest of up to 12 per cent per annum in the first phase, and around 8 per cent on the fixed deposit product.

BharatPe intends to offer a range of investment products under a single window, including mutual funds and ETFs, etc., in the coming months.

“The aim is to make BharatPe’s Investment Platform the most sought after investment vehicle for millions of offline retailers in the country,” said Sameer.

Based on the success of the pilot, the company aims to facilitate investments for more than 20 lakh merchant partners over the next 12 months via this platform.

The platform will enable RBI regulated entities to market their investment products to more than eight million BharatPe merchants across the country.

Last week, the fintech platform said it has initiated necessary action against the company’s former founder Ashneer to “claw back his restricted shares as per the shareholders’ agreement” and will take all steps to enforce its right under the law.

As part of its corporate governance review of the company after the financial irregularities were unearthed during Ashneer and his wife Madhuri Jain Grover’s time, the company found many vendors were involved in malpractices, such as incorrect or inflated invoices, who have been blocked for further business with the company.

The company terminated the services of several employees in departments who were directly involved with these blocked vendors.

Grover, along with his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, has been stripped of all company titles over alleged “extensive misappropriation of company funds” and using “company expense accounts” to “enrich themselves and fund their lavish lifestyles”.

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