Kiwi, a burgeoning fintech startup, has successfully raised $13 million in its pre-Series A funding round. Led by Omidyar Network India, the round also witnessed participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Stellaris Venture Partners, marking a milestone in Kiwi’s journey.
The current bout of funding – the second institutional fundraise – comes months after the credit card management fintech platform raised $6 million in funding from Nexus and Stellaris along with some angel investors. This infusion of capital will also empower Kiwi to invest in cutting-edge technology, enhancing user experience, and staying at the forefront of fintech innovation.
Established earlier this year by industry veterans Siddharth Mehta (former CEO of Freecharge), Mohit Bedi, and Anup Agrawal, Kiwi was one of the first fintechs to leverage India’s newly launched credit cards on UPI platform. Kiwi does this by issuing digital RuPay Cards in collaboration with its banking partners. The virtual credit card that it issues, works like usual payment methods on any UPI app, and can be used to pay using QR codes etc. It also provides allied benefits such as cashbacks etc, though the primary selling point is the UPI linkage, which is currently limited by the Government of Rupay cards only, despite protests from Visa and Mastercard.
With this fresh fundraise, the startup aims to bolster its product and technology infrastructure. With strategic hiring plans in the pipeline, the company aims to bring on board senior leaders in growth, marketing, and data analytics. Some of the newer projects that Kiwi aims to roll out include no-cost equated monthly installments (EMI) on UPI and credit line on UPI.
Kiwi’s distinctive offering of ‘credit cards on UPI’ sets it apart in the fintech arena. The eligibility criteria, tied to a salary of ₹15,000 and upwards, positions Kiwi’s platform to attract users in the ₹50,000 plus salary range. The credit limit on the card varies, ranging from ₹25,000 to a substantial ₹10,00,000. Users can link the card to link the card to the UPI service on its app in order to make digital payments, and an ET report reveals that the startup has issued 25,000 virtual credit cards to date.
“We are looking to develop our product and offerings further, expand brand partnerships and expand credit card on UPI offerings as well. We will also be looking at adding more talent,” Anup Agrawal, co-founder of the Bengaluru-headquartered Kiwi, commented on the matter. Going forward, the startup aims to team up with two new banks in the next six months for virtual RuPay cards. By strengthening its internal capabilities, the startup aims to accelerate the development and deployment of new features, as well as position itself for sustained growth in a competitive market.
Aligning with the vast growth potential of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Kiwi is currently focussed on tapping into the significant user base. The number of unique UPI users in India far exceeds existing card users, and acceptance points for ‘Credit on UPI’ are estimated to be five times larger than traditional credit card acceptance points. Kiwi, ambitiously, aims to onboard one million customers by the coming year, and has been certified by the National Payments Corporation of India as a licensed UPI third party app (‘TPAP’).
So far, the startup has an impressive track record, and boasts over 5 lakh registered consumers on its platform. The platform has disbursed cards to more than 30,000 users and is set to achieve ₹100 crore of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in November. The virtual RuPay credit cards issued in collaboration with Axis Bank have gained traction, with users exhibiting an average monthly spend of ₹22,000 and 17-18 card transactions per month.