Fintech startup Tortoise (website), a platform that rewards consumers for saving for their purchases, has received an undisclosed amount of funding from Sriharsha Majety, co-founder and CEO of Swiggy, and Lizzie Chapman, co-founder and CEO of fintech ZestMoney, as part of a mentorship round.
Lizzie Chapman, the co-founder of ZestMoney, said, “I am delighted to support a founder that has emerged from the ZestMoney family. I wish Nikhil and the team at Tortoise all the best as they take a complementary path to Zest in making life more affordable for Indians.“
The startup Save Now Buy Later (SNBL) had received around $2.3 million in a seed funding round from Vertex Ventures, part of global investment firm Temasek, earlier this year.
The current round is an extension of the seed funding round and is dubbed a “mentorship round” as the startup gets two highly respected founders as investors to help Tortoise work out a faster growth plan.
Commenting on the new funding round, Vardhan Koshal, co-founder of Tortoise, said, “This round is our mentorship round where we are raising angel checks from category-defining leaders like Lizzie and Sriharsha and expect to be joined by a few more visionaries. We are well capitalized through our seed round, so this is less about the investment and more about access to such inspiring leaders.”
Tortoise was co-founded in 2020 by Vardhan Koshal and Surya Harsha Nunnaguppala. Recently, Nikhil Joy, former vice president at ZestMoney, joined the Tortoise team as a co-founder. Joy is a leading fintech product developer and, until recently, was responsible for product development and growth at the consumer lending company.
Tortoise allows users to save for major purchases and rewards them for those savings. The savings plan, inspired by Tanishq’s Golden Harvest Scheme, offers weekly and monthly savings plans that range from a few months to a year.
Under this concept, consumers can deposit small amounts of money for a specific product over a few months to a year through the Tortoise app, which they can then use to purchase the product with guaranteed repayments of up to 126.65$.
Unlike other consumer-facing fintechs, Tortoise is a B2B2C platform that helps brands and merchants increase their sales. Tortoise provides a one-stop solution for brands to offer savings programs to their respective customers that drive sales and encourage repeat purchases.
Vardhan said, “Consumerism in India is on the rise, and so is the consumer’s desire to improve their lifestyle. However, not all consumers are willing or able to pay for major purchases upfront. Moreover, over 93 per cent of Indians do not have access to formal credit, and in such situations, SNBL is the best alternative.”