Wadhawan Global takes second UK bet, invests Rs 175 crore

MUMBAI: Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC), which owns 38% of Dewan Housing Finance, has invested Rs 175 crore in London-based mortgage financer Neyber, marking it’s second investment through the newly set up UK arm as it seeks to expand its global footprint. The holding company of the mortgage financier has invested GBP 21 million (about Rs 175 crore) in Neyber, which was set up by former Goldman Sachs investment bankers Martin Ijaha and Monica Kalia. “This is Series C round of funding for Neyber, which will use the proceeds to grow further,” said a person familiar with the matter. WGC chairman Kapil Wadhawan confirmed the development. “Through this investment, we aim to scale their business and learning to similar markets around the world,” he told ET. “At WGC, we will continue to focus on similar opportunities in the UK market.” Altamount Capital advised WGC on the investment while Quayle Munro was the advisor to Neyber. Neyber, a fintech company, has been built on the model of community-based financial empowerment through balanced lending. Established in 2014, the company is among the UK’s largest financial well-being companies. It works directly with employers to offer affordable borrowing to employees, directly from their salaries. The platform is free of charge for employers. In April, Neyber, the provider of financial employee benefits, obtained GBP 7.5 million in Series B funding. In June, WGC, which manages about $20 billion worth of assets through lending, investment and insurance platforms, set up a London unit that opened its account through undisclosed but sizeable investments in 12-year-old Zopa, ET had reported. “WGC is now gearing up to emerge as a full swing financial conglomerate with global presence. There will many more such new kind of initiatives in coming quarters,” said the source cited above. Billed among the world’s first in peer-to-peer lending firms and the UK’s largest in this business, Zopa was supposed to be among the first entrants into the British portfolio of the Wadhawans, who would benefit from the plunging valuations in London ahead of Brexit. With rising investment in fintech companies, WGC aims to learn from young players, which can gain from the group through its three-decade old experience in financial services. Crowd-lending, or peer-topeer lending, matches borrowers with savers, and creates a more financially rewarding platform than traditional banks and lenders, which have significant overhead costs.
Source: ET

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