Stealth mode fintech epiFi raises $13.2 mn seed round from Sequoia, Ribbit Capital

Stealth mode fintech epiFi raises $13.2 mn seed round from Sequoia, Ribbit Capital
Sujith Narayanan, co-founder and CEO, epiFi Technologies
13 Jan, 2020

Bengaluru-based neo banking startup epiFi Technologies has raised $13.2 million in an outsized seed round led by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital India and Ribbit Capital. 

Beijing-headquartered private equity firm Hillhouse Capital, Nubank founder David Velez and Cred founder Kunal Shah participated in the round. 

epiFi will use the capital raised to develop its core technology platform, sales growth, marketing initiatives and for talent acquisition. The platform is expected to be operational in a couple of months, a company spokesperson told TechCircle.

The deal size is significantly higher than a typical seed round investment in startups. In 2019, the average angel or seed investment in a startup was around $0.92 million, according to data available with VCCEdge.  

epiFi was founded in May 2019 by former Google Pay executives Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani. The startup, which targets millennials, provides digital banking solutions to help its users manage savings and expenses. Entering the highly-competitive fintech space, epiFi offers a single interface for all financial and banking needs. 

The platform will function as a primary hub for its users, providing them with co-branded debit cards and linking all their existing financial services products on a single mobile banking interface. epiFi’s newly formed team comprises several veterans from technology majors such as Google, Netflix, Flipkart and PayPal.

“When it comes to banking, they (millennials) are looking for a personalised, flexible and transparent experience with minimal friction. Through epiFi, our mission is to provide digital natives a new-age platform that uses customer insights, and deep-tech to simplify their banking journey and help them take a big step towards achieving financial freedom,” Narayanan said in a statement.

“Consumer banking, especially key products like savings accounts, haven’t seen true innovation in many years. Sujith and Sumit have demonstrated the ability to change the trajectory of financial services in India with their work on Google Pay in the digital payments space,” Shailesh Lakhani, managing director at Sequoia Capital India, said.

Menlo Park, California-headquartered Sequoia’s Indian unit has investments in several other fintechs such as Capital Float, Cred, Drip Capital, Groww, Mobikwik and Razorpay. For Hillhouse Capital, epiFi is the firm’s second investment in an Indian fintech startup. It earlier invested in Kunal Shah’s Cred. Apart from fintech, its other bets here include Swiggy, Girnar Software, Hector Beverages, Trustroot Internet and Uber Technologies.

Recent fintech deals

In December, online mutual fund investment services provider Wealthbucket raised $3 million in a seed round from private equity firm NorthStar and some HNIs (high net worth individuals). The company plans to increase staff to 100 from the current 45 and expand its operations, and simplify the registration process.

Digital taxation services provider Quicko raised $300,000 in a seed round from Rainmatter Capital, an incubator that invests in fin-tech startups. 

Delhi-based supply chain and invoice finance provider LivFin India raised $5 million in equity funding from German development finance major DEG. It provides long-term finance to private companies in emerging markets.