BharatPe joins unicorn club, to double down on digital bank ambitions

BharatPe joins unicorn club, to double down on digital bank ambitions
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4 Aug, 2021

Delhi-headquartered fintech company Resilient Innovations, which operates merchant payment platform BharatPe, has raised $370 million (about Rs 2742.56 crore) to fuel its digital bank ambitions.

The company announced the close of its Series E round at a valuation of $2.85 billion, led by returning investor Tiger Global, according to a statement. Steadfast Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group joined the company’s cap table as part of the round. Existing investor Coatue Management, Insight partners, Sequoia Growth, Ribbit Capital and Amplo also chipped in.

The company has raised a total of $600 million in equity and debt capital to date.

Along with the capital raise, BharatPe has appointed group president Suhail Sameer to the role of CEO. Co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover will now be elevated to managing director role, leading strategy, product, technology, capital including IPO, equity and debt, apart from driving the overall people agenda.

Founded in 2018 by Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe operates UPI QR code based payment acceptance for small and medium businesses. In 2020 it had also launched card payment acceptance terminal BharatSwipe apart from providing credit for merchants. Currently, BharatPe claims to serve 70 lakh merchants across 140 cities and has disbursed Rs 1800 crores to its merchants since its launch.

“We now have US$ 0.5B cash on books and are extremely well capitalized to deliver on our mandate to build India’s first truly Digital Bank. Rarely does one witness the original thesis play out without any pivot,” Grover said in the statement.

“BharatPe will remain maniacally focused on lending as the core business and small merchants as our primary target segment,” he added.

In June BharatPe received an in-principle approval by Reserve bank of India to establish a small finance bank in partnership with Centrum Financial Services Limited, NBFC arm of Centrum Group. BharatPe had also announced the acquisition of loyalty program company PAYBACK India  to provide loyalty programme to its merchant partners.