24th November 2023, India: Mastercard, today announced a collaboration with U GRO Capital, an NBFC specializing in MSME financing, to extend financing solutions to small businesses in India that require financial support to maintain and grow their operations. MSMEs in India have long grappled with substantial challenges, including constrained access to capital. According to recent reports, out of over 64 million MSMEs in India, only 14 percent have access to credit.
This strategic collaboration between Mastercard and U GRO Capital aims to address this challenge by enabling a holistic digital supply chain financing solution for millions of small businesses in India. U GRO Capital will leverage its proprietary underwriting and cash flow-backed assessment model to offer short-term credit to dealer distributors and last-mile retailers, among other small merchants and women entrepreneurs. Through its vast network, Mastercard is bringing together the demand and supply side ecosystem stakeholders on a common platform to facilitate adequate support for the growth of small businesses.
Vikas Varma, Chief Operating Officer, South Asia, Mastercard, commented, “Mastercard understands the substantial challenges faced by MSMEs in accessing capital, thus, posing a barrier to the growth of their businesses. The credit gap requires a collective effort, and it is imperative to forge right partnerships within the ecosystem to overcome the existing divide. U GRO Capital and Mastercard are joining forces to deliver an accessible working capital solution and the collaborative commitment aims to fuel the growth of small businesses across India, paving the way for sustained success in the entrepreneurial landscape.”
With its progressive approach to MSME financing, U GRO Capital leverages data tech platform to extend credit to MSMEs. The approach emphasizes cash flow-backed assessments based on data analysis, transcending traditional financial and collateral-based evaluations. U GRO Capital’s proprietary underwriting model, the GRO Score, goes beyond traditional lending by harnessing the power of ecosystems and leverages alternate data sources to evaluate customers based on their banking, bureau, and GST behaviors, facilitating credit extension to the last mile.
Shachindra Nath, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, U GRO Capital, said, “We are truly excited to collaborate with Mastercard, a recognized global leader in the payment industry. This strategic partnership complements our vision of reshaping the MSME finance landscape and meeting the pressing demands for instant working capital. We are confident to onboard millions of small businesses through the Mastercard network, thereby magnifying our collective impact on the MSME sector. This alliance, underpinned by innovation and a shared commitment, holds the potential to be a pivotal force in addressing the intricate credit needs of MSMEs nationwide.”
Mastercard announced a global commitment to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses, including 25 million female entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025. This collaboration with U GRO Capital aligns with Mastercard’s mission to drive financial inclusion for businesses across India.