Digital payments and lending platform provider BharatPe on Thursday said it is enroute to an “aggressive” expansion plan across tier I, II and III cities in India.
The New Delhi-based startup, which currently has a presence in over 35 cities in the country, plans to expand its footprint to 65 cities by December, according to a statement.
“We have handpicked cities that are either business hubs or emerging commercial centres, for this phase of expansion. We look forward to enabling millions of more businesses in the new cities we are venturing in,” BharatPe group president Suhail Sameer said.
While its tier I city expansion plans include Kolkata and Chennai; emerging cities comprise Coimbatore, Kochi, Dehradun, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar and Patna; and tourist hubs include Amritsar, Varanasi, Agra and Allahabad.
The company aims to add 3 million merchants to its existing list of over 5 million by the financial year ended March 2021.
“The announcement is in line with the company’s commitment to become the preferred financial services partner for over 60 million SMEs in India,” the statement said.
The company will also roll out its interoperable Unified Payments Interface Quick Response (UPI QR) with zero transaction fees, along with its recently launched zero rental, zero fees card acceptance machine BharatSwipe in the new cities.
Additionally, BharatPe will offer merchants collateral-free loans of up to Rs 7 lakh.
“The pandemic has fuelled exponential growth of the digital payments industry in the country as a large number of customers are opting for cashless payments,” Sameer said.
“We have seen our business grow manifold over the last few months. Our payments vertical has recorded consistent double digit growth on a month-on-month basis. Also, our lending vertical has scaled very well and we are on track to disburse loans of Rs 1,000 crore by the end of the year,” he added.
Founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018, BharatPe currently claims to serve over 50 lakh merchants. The company claims to have grown its business 30X in 2019 compared to a year ago, having processed over 50 million UPI transactions a month.