BharatPe, India’s payments and lending platform, might soon join RazorPay, and other fintech organisations in the country to become a unicorn. The firm has announced that it has raised $108 million in its latest investment round at a valuation of $900 million, more than doubling the $400 million price tag that was placed on the company during its last investment round in February 2020.
This successful round for BharatPe was led by U.S investment firm Coatue management, with participation from six other investors. Of the total $108 million, $90 million has come in the form of ordinary funding, while the remaining $18 million came through providing secondary exits to its angel investors and employees. After this round the company’s total equity and debt investment amounts to $268 million.
According to Ashneer Grover, Co-Founder and CEO of BharatPe, the platform has seen majestic growth over the last year, with its payments business growing 5 times and lending growing 10 times.
“With the balance sheet well capitalized (more than $ 200 million in bank), we are now going to keep our heads down and deliver $3 billion TPV (total portfolio value) and build a loan book of $700 million with small merchants by March 2023,” Grover said.
While BharatPe competes with the likes of Paytm, PhonePe and many others, its policy is quite different from its competitors. BharatPe specializes in providing QR codes to small merchants like teal stall and kiryana shop owners to facilitate online transactions, and that is what has helped the company grow so much in the last years, especially as small business went online for the first time in the last year. Analyics at the bank of America said that this growth has proved that fintech is not just a winner takes all market.
BharatPe does not charge merchants for these QR codes, but is looking to make money through lending. It plans to further spread its network with the new funds it has secured in the investment round.
Currently, the Delhi based startup is just a $100 million short of joining Paytm, BillDesk, Pine Labs, RazorPay, PhonePe, and others in the unicorn club of fintech companies in India.