Fintech Startup BharatPe Bags US$108M at a Valuation of US$900M

BharatPe

BharatPe aims to reach US$30 billion in total payment volume and facilitate loan of $700 million by March 2023

Indian fintech startup BharatPe has raised US$108 million in a Series D round of funding, led by Coatue Management, the startup announced in a press release yesterday.

Existing investors Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo, and Sequoia Capital also participated in the round, the statement said. It added that as part of the new funding round, BharatPe returned $18 million to ensure secondary exit for its angel investors and employees with stock options.

The startup had previously raised $75 million in its Series C round a little over a year ago. Last month, the startup had raised $35 million in debt from Alteria Capital, InnoVen Capital, and Trifecta Capital. The current financing round valued BharatPe at $900 million and brought its total funding to $268 million, the statement noted.

Founded in 2018, New Delhi-based BharatPe enables offline merchants to accept online payments and offers them loans to meet working capital needs. With BharatPe, small businesses can accept payments using quick response (QR) codes and point-of-sale (PoS) machines that support the government-backed Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Customers can scan the QR codes and pay for goods by entering their UPI pin that instantly transfers money from their account to the merchants’.

There are over 51 million small and medium enterprises in India, and nearly 68% of them operate offline. These offline merchants include businesses in different sectors from roadside tea and food stalls, and local grocery stores to the stationery and chicken or meat shops.

BharatPe enables these businesses to directly accept payments in their bank account from payment apps such as PayTM, PhonePe, Google Pay, BHIM, and over 150 other UPI apps. The startup does not charge merchants for accepting payments using its QR code. However, it aims to generate revenue through its lending business.

The startup currently serves over 6 million merchants across 75 cities in India. According to the press statement, BharatPe deployed over 50,000 PoS machines by November 2020 which facilitates transactions of over $123 million (INR900 crores) every month.

The startup’s B2B lending arm facilitates loans of over $27 million (INR200 crores) to its merchant partners every month, the statement noted. The startup has also been growing in the payments space and toppled Google Pay in November to become the third largest company in the merchant UPI payment acceptance. In the same month, the company had recorded transaction value of $479 million. The company’s annualized TPV (total payment volume) **stands at $7 billion.

According to BharatPe Co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover, the startup’s payment business grew 5X while its lending business grew 10X in the last 12 months.

He added, “With the balance sheet well capitalized (more than $200 million in bank), we are now going to keep our heads down and deliver $30 billion in total payment volume and build a loan book of $700 million with small merchants by March 2023.”

Header image by Pixabay

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