Fintech startup BharatPe joins unicorn club at a valuation of $2.85 billion

Vivek Vishwakarma
04 Aug 2021
Fintech startup BharatPe joins unicorn club at a valuation of $2.85 billion

BharatPe Founder - Ashneer Grover

New Delhi-based P2M fintech startup BharatPe has now joined the unicorn startup club after raising $370 million (about Rs 2,743 crore) in a Series E funding round at a valuation of $2.85 billion. The funding round was led by New York-based Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Steadfast Capital.

Existing investors Coatue Management, Insight Partners, Sequoia Growth, Ribbit Capital, and Amplo have also participated in the round. Following this deal, BharatPe is the 19th Indian startup to attain a 'unicorn' status this year, a term used to refer to privately valued startups that have a valuation of over $1 billion.

According to the statement, Of the $370 million, The startup has completed $20 million worth of secondary share sale as part of its employee share buyback programme.

Prior to this round, BharatPe had raised $108 million in February 2021, co-led by Coatue Management and other investors at a valuation of $900 million.

As part of the current development, The startup has also elevated Suhail Sameer as the new chief executive officer (CEO). In his new role, Sameer would be responsible for the overall business, merchant network expansion, monetization, lending, banking foray, and the brand, the company said in a statement. Additionally, Ashneer Grover, Co-founder of BharatPe will now be acting as the managing director of the company.

“We now have $500 million cash on books and are extremely well-capitalized to deliver on our mandate to build India’s first truly digital bank,” Grover said. “Rarely does one witness the original thesis play out without any pivot. BharatPe will remain maniacally focused on lending as the core business and small merchants as our primary target segment," he adds.

In June 2021, BharatPe along with Centrum Financial Services Ltd. had received 'in-principle' approval from the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) to take over crisis-ridden PMC Bank and set up a small finance bank.

Founded in April 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe (Resilient Innovations Pvt. Ltd.) allows shop owners and businesses to accept payments from any UPI app (such as Google Pay, PayTm, PhonePe) through a one developed QR Code.

The startup was initially backed by Sequoia Capital India, BEENEXT, and angel investors, including Utsav Somani, Nitin Gupta, Nipun Mehra, and Sanjay Rishi.

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