Delhi-based financial technology firm Grip Invest, which has had a sine-curvish journey from being an un-regulated, un-rated investment platform to India’s first SEBI-regulated OBPP (Online bond platform providers) platform, has now successfully closed a $10 million Series B round. The round was led by Stride Ventures, a prominent name in the fintech investment domain, and saw participation from new investors LC Nueva and Multiply Ventures, as well as continued support from existing backers, including Venture Highway, Anicut Capital, and AdvantEdge.

The funding structure comprised $8.5 million in fresh equity infusion and an additional $1.5 million through convertible notes, showcasing the diverse financial support and confidence garnered by Grip Invest in this round. This fresh injection of capital is expected to play an important role in the expansion of business operations, refining product distribution strategies, and implementing investor-focused features on the firm’s technology platform.

Founded in 2020 by Vivek Gulati, Nikhil Aggarwal, and Aashish Jindal, Grip Invest has rapidly emerged as a direct-to-consumer (D2C) high-yield investment platform, facilitating retail investors in making informed decisions regarding asset-backed investment opportunities. The journey, as Aggarwal puts it, wasn’t the smoothest of all. “We transitioned Grip a full 180 degrees; From non-SEBI regulated, un-rated, un-listed fixed-income options to become the 1st operational SEBI OBPP platform offering only SEBI regulated, independent credit-rated and NSE-listed high-yield investments.”, stresses Aggarwal in a LinkedIn post.

Grip Invest envisions its growth prospects rooted in several industry trends, including the transition in wealth management behaviour from a traditional relationship-manager model to digital-hybrid platforms. The platform taps into the increasing number of ‘affluent’ Indians seeking attractive risk-reward propositions and benefits from enhanced investor confidence driven by positive SEBI regulations, enabling quicker adoption and penetration.

In October 2023, Grip Invest became the first platform to fully implement SEBI’s Request for Quote (RFQ) API. This integration streamlines retail investors’ access to India’s Corporate Bond and Structured Debt market, offering a stock-like investment experience. The RFQ mechanism addresses challenges in the debt securities market, promoting transparency and reducing barriers to entry.

Including the Series B round, Grip Invest has raised over $15 million in funding to date. The company’s fundraising journey includes securing $1 million in January 2022, led by its top 200 users who became shareholders, and a $3 million in a Series A funding round in August 2021, led by Venture Highway and Endiya Partners. Grip Invest operates the Grip Fixed Income Opportunities Fund, a SEBI Category II AIF, and has co-founded Electrifi Mobility, a company dedicated to the full life-cycle management of electric vehicles.

Aggarwal, the CEO and one of the founders, expressed his satisfaction with the successful funding round in a LinkedIn post, stating, “The infusion of $10 million, especially in this environment, is a testament to the investor confidence in our business model, growth prospects, and team.” Aggarwal highlighted the significance of Stride Ventures’ participation, emphasising their deep understanding of alternative investments.

Ishpreet Gandhi, Founding and Managing Partner at Stride Ventures, echoed the sentiment, stating, “Our participation in the Series B round is a strategic move, driven by Grip’s promising growth trajectory and the clear demand for diversified investment options in India.”

With over INR 800+ Cr ($97.56 million) in investments facilitated, Grip Invest is positioned to capitalise on alternative investments. Investors have applauded the company’s positive regulatory developments, including obtaining SEBI’s online bond providers (OBPP) licence and integration with the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Grip Invest plans to leverage the newly acquired capital to enhance its offerings, introducing more accessible and diverse investment products.