Bengaluru-based Garagepreneurs Internet, which operates payments platform Slice, has raised $6 million (Rs 46 crore) in a bridge funding round, dubbed as pre Series B, led by Tokyo-based investor Gunosy Capital.
Washington DC-based venture capital firm EMVC; Kunal Shah, founder of credit card payment platform CRED; micro venture firm Better Capital; and returning investor Das Capital also participated in the round, the company said in a statement.
The firm said it will deploy the fresh capital to double its management team, explore banking partnerships to launch co-branded prepaid cards and credit cards, and have over five lakh users on the platform by the end of financial year 2020-21.
“We are inventing the future of finance for young Indians, who want to understand and relate to financial products just like they would with Snapchat and Instagram. As a young team, we understand this consumer very well and in the past four years, our primary focus has been making youngsters' financial experience fun and seamless,” Rajan Bajaj, founder and CEO of Slice, said.
Formerly called SlicePay, the company was founded in 2016. It claims to have built a data driven financial product for college students and young salaried professionals called the Slice Card, which is both a physical and a virtual card. As of March this year, the company has issued these cards at an annual run rate of over four lakh.
The company, which claims to be profitable four years after setting up shop, offers payments and credit solutions for people aged between 18 and 29. It is present across 18 cities in India including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.
It earlier raised capital in September, when Pegasys Wings Group, jointly owned by Das Capital and Gunosy Capital, infused $2.9 million in the company. A month after that, it raised $1.4 million through four debt issues from returning investors.
The Indian credit card market has grown rapidly in the past five years, with around 30 million unique users and five million active new credit card users being added annually.
A State Bank of India report states that the proportion of credit card originations among millennials has increased to 35% in FY19 from 19% in FY15, while the share of customers under 25 years of age has increased ten-fold in the same period.
“We believe Slice has a sustainable advantage as it has decoded young credit users’ demands, and built a deep understanding of credit risk and low-cost distribution using technology,” Yuki Maniwa, director at Gunosy, said.