Payments Made Easy – The ZestMoney Business Model

Recent years have proven that one of the fast growing sectors in India has been the ECommerce sector, closely followed by the fintech and logistic sectors. But with an increase in all things ecommerce, we’re also seeing consumers being cautious over spending online. A huge factor in this is the unavailability of paying later for products. This led to the birth of ZestMoney, a money lending platform that aims to help users overcome their hefty credit card bills. In this article we take a look at why ZestMoney is such a popular option among buy now pay later app users.

About ZestMoney

Having noticed this friction between buyers and products, Lizzie Chapman, Ashish Anantharaman and Priya Sharma – colleagues who worked in a finance company in the UK called Wonga – came up with a simple solution.

ZestMoney was founded as a virtual EMI platform at various shopping portals on the web. After gathering relevant document proofs and some back checks, once your account is approved, ZestMoney loans you amounts by directly paying for your product. Repayment does not require a credit card, or any card for that matter. This largely helps Tier2 and Tier 3 consumers, who do not have the time to file for credit cards at banks. Easier repayments and flexible monthly plans ensure these customers also repay their dues promptly.

Zest Money Play Store Screenshots

ZestMoney Founders

All the three Co-founders are highly professional and experienced in their respective fields. Priya Sharma did her MBA in London, and is in charge of the finances of the company. CEO Lizzie Chapman is at the head of marketing decisions and acquisitions carried out by the company. She’s at the helm of ZestMoney’s popularity, which seems to be increasing day by day. Ashish Anantharaman is the CTO of the company, and is really great when it comes to making the company as simple to understand as possible for the Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies.

ZestMoney Cofounders - Rickshaw in background
Image Source – Techcrunch

As their company is releasing new products to all sorts of companies it is important for the team to have time management and work at a faster rate. “In times of crisis, we know how to handle things. Corporate culture teaches you what you should focus on, including taking care of regulations,” says Ashish.

ZestMoney Business Model

Often for items of larger value, Ecommerce sites require that people pay the total cost upfront. While people with credit cards can order these items easily, for those without one – especially in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of the country – getting these products would be a far-fetched dream. 

This is ZestMoney’s biggest selling point. They’ve made it absolutely simple for people to avail loans for the products they want. Co-founder Priya Sharma and her team made sure customers received their approval in the shortest time possible, without having to wait for weeks for an approval by the bank. ZestMoney users say they can get an approval within 2 hours, while it would take over a couple weeks to get their credit card requests approved.

Being quick in loaning people money attracts a lot of attention. In just four years, ZestMoney has garnered over six million registered users. This number has also brought in a lot of money for the company, with investments pouring in from all around the globe, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

ZestMoney Revenue Sources

Although they won’t say it out loud, ZestMoney profits by collecting interest on the money it lends out. As to how much commission ZestMoney charges, well that’s a trade secret. This is why the question on ZestMoney’s valuation is also a wild guess, but some estimates say it may be close to 84 million USD. If anyone can confirm these numbers however, it would have to be Priya Sharma.


ZestMoney has around 12 partners from different firms helping the company grow and reach out to more potential customers. The company got an initial 2 million USD in its seed round by the Ribbit Capital and Omidyar Network.

This was back in 2015. From there, ZestMoney has continued using investments to boost its growth further into the deeper parts of the country. Their latest 80 crore INR funding made headlines for all the right reasons.

The company is eyeing another funding round to help it expand deeper into India and gain greater market share.


Closing Thoughts

ZestMoney has managed to grow from three people to a team of around 60. With an ever expanding team of great individuals, backed by good capital funding, it seems like ZestMoney is on the right track – helping millions of people turn towards digital lending as a viable alternative to traditional banking. The government’s moves towards growing digital lending only strengthen this point. ZestMoney – backed by Lizzie, Priya, Ashish, and over 80 million USD – we can positively say that this company is on pace to become one of the most important companies of this decade.