Indian fintech BharatPe plans to raise around USD 175 million or INR 1,300 crore in debt, according to a news report by Entrackr.
Founded in 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe is a merchant-payments and lending solutions provider. Since its inception, the company has raised only around $268 million but is valued at $900 million. The soon-to-become Unicorn plans to use the fresh funds to launching new consumer-focused products.
The company is also looking to build a loan book of $675 million. It has also recently acquired an Indian co-operative bank called Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) bank in a consortium with wealth-management firm Centrum Financial services. It is essential to mention here that a scam hit the PMC bank in 2019 after it favored a housing company by giving out a huge loan.
BharatPe, which counts early-stage investor Venture Catalysts and other marquee investors such as Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo, and Sequoia Capital, has earlier this year also raised $34 million in debt from private Indian lender ICICI Bank, Alteria Capital, Innoven Capital, and Northern Arc Capital.
The fresh funding will also help the New Delhi-based firm to lend aggressively to small and medium enterprises and launch a buy now pay later (BNPL) for consumers soon. The company helps offline merchants accept digital payments and secure working capital. With over 600 million Internet users in India, BharatPe is looking to garner a majority market share by tapping merchants running small businesses, such as roadside tea stalls and neighborhood stores. It relies on the QRCodes to make digital payments easier for such companies easier.
BharatPe has over 6 million merchants and has deployed over 50,000 PoS machines last November. It is looking to make money by lending. Grover said the startup’s lending business grew by 10x in 2020.
The company was recently in the news for its quirky job description (JD) to attract talent. The Fintech had in the JD mentioned that it plans to give away superbikes, cool work-from-home gadgets.