India-based blue-collar recruitment portal BetterPlace has launched BetterPlace Money, which aims to provide short-term loans to what it describes as “underserved” workers, according to a report.
Over the next two years, BetterPlace will partner with banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to expand its financial offerings, which will be available across its operational markets — India, the Asia Pacific region (APAC) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar).
These markets have about 450 million blue-collar workers who account for an average of more than 20% to the GDP in these markets, the company noted.
Pravin Agarwala, group CEO and co-founder of BetterPlace, said: “Credit to frontline workers is a $70 billion U.S. opportunity in India, APAC and GCC. Yet there are no significant players tapping into this market segment. While a lack of reliable data and the high cost of servicing this segment have prohibited the supply of credit, the lack of financial awareness among frontline workers has also restricted the demand.”
“Most frontline workers in our side of the world still rely on informal sources of finance, which is not only unsustainable but also puts them in a debt trap, placing them just a nudge away from poverty.”
BetterPlace recently acquired microfinancing startup Bueno Finance Inc., which specializes in providing loans to blue-collar workers. In December 2022, BetterPlace raised $40 million U.S. as part of a Series C funding round.
Founded in 2015 by Agarwala and Saurabh Tandon, BetterPlace has raised a total of $80 million to date and currently manages about four million workers.