BharatPe, a fintech start-up helping small Indian businesses and merchants go digital, has secured $75 million in a Series C round of funding.
The investment came from a batch of investors, including New York-headquartered hedge fund Coatue Management and Palo Alto-based fintech investor Ribbit Capital, and will be used for scaling up business by BharatPe.
Investment taking BharatPe's valuation to $400 million
While Coatue Management and Ribbit Capital led the Series C investment, US-based venture capital firm Amplo and existing investors Steadview Capital and Insight Partners also contributed in the round.
The move takes the total value of funds raised by the two-year-old company to $143 million (across four rounds) and its total valuation to a little over $400 million.
Helping merchants accept digital payments
Founded in 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe has been providing small Indian merchants a platform to accept money digitally.
It has been using QR codes linked to the government-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to make sure that the money sent via any UPI app (from Paytm to PhonePe to Google Pay) gets instantly transferred to their bank account.
Working capital to small merchants
Along with helping merchants go online, BharatPe has also been providing short-term loans to merchants to make sure they have enough working capital while receiving money online.
The company provides new merchants loans of up to Rs. 35,000 for three months while older members can get up to Rs. 1.40 lakh.
In all, BharatPe claims to have disbursed $14 million to 20,000 merchants.
Goals to scale up now
BharatPe has raked more than 3 million merchants across 30 cities but the job is far from done.
India is a country of 1.3 billion people, and the company plans to leverage this to scale up.
As the next step, it plans to deploy these funds to double up the number of merchants by building new technologies and products and boost the lending business.
Here's what Grover said about boosting the lending business
"We have already disbursed Rs. 100 crore of term loans to merchants through partner NBFCs and are ready to extend lines of credit to our merchants, for which we need our own NBFC to innovate...we're hoping we'll get the license from the RBI by March."