Indian fintech company BharatPe has raked in INR1.39bn (about $20m) in a debt funding round, to boost its lending and merchant credit business.

The investment came from venture capital firm Alteria Capital and private sector lender ICICI Bank.

BharatPe already raised INR600m in debt from Innoven Capital last week. The latest round brings the total amount raised by the company to date to INR1.99bn ($28m) in debt.

The latest investment comes after the merchant focused QR code-based payments company was planning to raise $150-200m in equity and $500m in a debt financing round, earlier this month.

The combined total amount of equity and debt funding raised by the company is $171m till date.

BharatPe’s other backers include Beenext, Sequoia, SteadView Capital, Ribbit Capital, Coatue Management, Insight Partners, and Amplo.

The company will use the fresh capital to launch new credit products for merchants and forge partnerships with more distributors and wholesalers in the retail chain.

BharatPe co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover said that INR900m in debt came from Alteria Capital, while the remaining INR490m came from ICICI Bank.

He said that the firm aims to disburse loans worth INR10bn in 2020-21, of which INR8bn has already been disbursed to over 100,000 merchants in the country.

Grover said: “We have raised funds from ICICI Bank at a competitive interest rate of less than 9%. We are aggressively building our lending vertical and our loan book is currently at INR4bn.

“With this infusion, we can double down on our efforts and we expect the loan book to grow to INR7-7.5bn by the end of March 2021.

“The latest tranche of debt raised will help further build the lending business and enable credit for millions of businesses, across the length and breadth of India.

“We have committed ourselves to provide $700m of loans to small merchants and Kirana store owners by March 2023 and are hoping to onboard more institutional debt partners in the near future.

“By March 2023, our aim is to be present in 300 cities and have the lending product available in 200 cities.”