BharatPe set to become next unicorn after valuation crosses $900 mn

BharatPe (Photo:
Fintech company BharatPe has raised $108 million in a Series D equity round, at a valuation of $900 million. The financial services company for merchants raised $90 million in a primary fundraising and also ensured secondary exit for its angel investors and employees for a $18 million. 

The round was led by the company’s existing investor Coatue Management. All 7 existing institutional investors participated in the round. These include Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo and Sequoia Capital. With this round, the company has raised a total of $268 million in equity and debt to date.

“We, at BharatPe, do not celebrate fundraises – it is akin to procuring raw material,” said Ashneer Grover, co-founder and CEO, BharatPe. “We are super excited though to have returned Rs 125 crore of capital to angels and all ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) holders, earning them one of the highest returns on investment. The team is committed to making money for all stakeholders – investors, lenders, borrowers, employees and banks,” he said.

The Delhi-based company, which competes with players like Pine Labs, Paytm and Mswipe provides payment technology and digital lending for offline businesses, including kiranas.

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

The new financing was one of the fastest funding round closures for any startup in India. The Series D round got oversubscribed within the last two weeks of December 2020. In the Series D round, existing institutional investors of the company showed their intent to consolidate the cap table. Hence, BharatPe gave the opportunity to all angels and ESOP holders to liquidate.

The company is seeing rapid growth, as the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated digital payments. BharatPe’s payments business has grown 5x and its lending business has grown 10x in the last 12 months. “We are committed to building India’s largest B2B financial services company that can serve as one-stop destination for small merchants,” said Grover. 

Last month, the company announced that it had raised Rs 249 crore ($35 million) in debt from all three top venture debt providers – Alteria Capital, InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital. 

The firm is facilitating over Rs 200 crore of loans to its merchant partners every month through its non-banking financial company (NBFC) partners. It has also deployed more than 50,000 point of sale (POS)  machines. The firm has been on an expansion spree and currently has a presence in 75 cities in the country.

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