Unicorns in India have sprung up like crazy in the past 11 months, thanks to the revival of the startup ecosystem in the country and the massive infusion of capital from global and domestic investors. The latest startup to get a “slice” of this pie is fintech startup Slice, which entered the coveted unicorn club after raising $220 million.
Slice raised the funds in its Series B funding round, led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital major Insight Partners, as well as new and existing investors including Advent International’s Sunley House Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Anfa, Gunosy, Blume Ventures, and 8i. With this round, the company has raised around $250 million in equity funding so far.
Valued at over $1 billion, Slice will use the proceeds from the funding round to fuel expansion and strengthen its footprint in the payment sector, make recruitments, and expand its product offerings. It will also use a portion of the fresh capital to fund its non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm, and scale its loan book. It is also gearing up to launch support for UPI in the near future.
With this, Slice becomes the 37th and the latest Indian startup to become a unicorn this year. This list includes high-profile names such as CRED, Meesho, PharmEasy, Zeta, Grofers, upGrad, MPL, Rebel Foods, and many others. This is a testament to the revival of the startup sector and a sharp contrast to 2020, which adversely affected several industries.
“Our far superior product experience has made us the most popular alternative to existing credit cards. It has also enabled us to serve not only the population with credit history but also the massive new-to-credit population that banks have not penetrated. Being able to marry both product experience and risk excellence together, at scale, is what sets us apart,” said Rajan Bajaj, founder, and CEO, Slice.
One of the market-leading card-issuing startups in India, Slice offers a number of cards and helps users to pay bills in monthly instalments at no charge, manage expenses and unlock rewards. The median age of its users is 27, many of whom do not own credit cards. Its work is something that is sorely needed in India, a majority of whose population continues to lack access to credit cards despite having bank accounts and subsequently debit cards.
The startup offers a Slice Super Card as well, a prepaid visa card with a credit line to allow hundreds of millions to enjoy credit card-like benefits and build their credit score – the higher the credit score, the better, and you can win rewards and discounts from payments. Today, Slice is shipping over 200,000 cards each month (making it the third-largest card issuer in India) and has a registered user base of over 5 million users, along with a growth rate of 40% month-on-month.