Bangalore-headquartered Razorpay, one of the handful of Indian fintech startups that has demonstrated accelerated growth in recent years, has joined the coveted unicorn club after raising $100 million in a new financing round, the payments processing startup said on Monday.
The new financing round, a Series D, was co-led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Sequoia India, the six-year-old Indian startup said. The new round valued the startup at “a little more than $1 billion,” co-founder and chief executive Harshil Mathur told TechCrunch in an interview.
Existing investors Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Y Combinator, and Matrix Partners also participated in the round, which brings Razorpay’s total to-date raise to $206.5 million.
Razorpay accepts, processes, and disburses money online for small businesses and enterprises. In recent years, the startup has expanded its offerings to provide loans to businesses and also launched a neo-banking platform to issue corporate credit cards, among other products.
Mathur and Shashank Kumar (pictured above), who met each other at IIT Roorkee, started Razorpay in 2014. They began to explore opportunities around payments processing business after realizing just how difficult it was for small businesses such as young startups to accept money online less than a decade ago. There were very few payment processing firms in India then and startups needed to produce a long-list of documents.
The early team of about 11 people at Razorpay shared a single apartment as the co-founders rushed to meet with over 100 bankers to convince banks to work with them. The conversations were slow and remained in a deadlock for so long that the co-founders felt helpless explaining the same challenge to investors numerous times, they recalled in an interview last year.
To say things have changed for Razorpay would be an understatement. It’s become the largest payments provider for
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O has invested 7 billion rupees ($95.51 million) in its Indian payments unit, ahead of the festive season, data from business intelligence firm Tofler showed.
Amazon will begin its festive season sales on Oct. 17, and has been trying to encourage payments through Amazon Pay with cashbacks and other rewards.
Both Amazon and Flipkart offer deep discounts on everything from clothes, smartphones to home appliances ahead of key Hindu festivals Dussehra and Diwali.
In July, Jeff Bezos-led Amazon.com had invested 23.10 billion rupees in Amazon Seller Services and early this year announced a $1 billion investment to bring more than 10 million small businesses online in India by 2025.
Amazon, billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries RELI.NS and Walmart Inc’s WMT.N Flipkart are in a race to gain market share in India’s fast-growing online market for food and groceries.
Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance is also expanding its new commerce venture and has raised 377.19 billion rupees ($5.14 billion) in a month by selling stakes in its retail unit to investors including KKR & Co, private equity firm Silver Lake and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co.
Meanwhile, this week, Amazon.com Inc sent a legal notice to Future Group, alleging the retailer’s $3.38 billion asset sale to Reliance breached an agreement with the e-commerce giant.
Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi
Internet giants Flipkart, Paytm, Zomato, Big Basket and others could be in for making their stock market debuts in 2021 and beyond that, said a report by global brokerage and research firm Bernstein. These Indian unicorns are now household names in tier-1 and tier-2 cities across India and have a significant stake in their respective industry. Recently, stock markets have witnessed a rush of initial public offerings, and retail investors have been at the forefront when it comes to subscribing to these issues. Individual investors have oversubscribed all the IPOs in recent months.
With the entry of these internet giants, the IPO market could be on its way to become more appealing to retail investors. Serving the e-commerce, fin tech, ed tech, and food delivery industry these companies are expected to see their business flourish with the augmentation and acceptance of the internet ecosystem in India. However, so far none of these companies have initiated any proceedings with the market regulator that could hint that they are seeking to be listed on bourses.
The leading e-commerce website in India is valued at $25 billion, according to the last round of funding which was in July this year. Backed by US-Retail giant Walmart, Flipkart is battling it out in the e-commerce space with Amazon and now Reliance Jio Mart. “E-Commerce in India has low penetration, but the market is growing rapidly. E-Commerce is expected to grow more than five-fold to US$133 Bn by 2025,” the report noted. Currently e-commerce has a low penetration in India with less than 5% of the market share but the same is pegged to cross 10% by
Inshorts, which operates a popular news aggregator app in India, has raised $35 million in a new financing round led by Lee Fixel’s Addition as the Indian startup looks to scale its adjacent, social network platform.
For Fixel, who wrote several high-profile checks to Indian firms while running Tiger Global, InShorts is the first Indian startup he is backing from his new VC firm. Fixel, who also invested in InShorts when he was at Tiger Global, has backed about six startups through Addition including New York Area-headquartered Odeko, which offers ordering and supply chain tools to cafes, Synk, which develops tools used to identify vulnerabilities, and dLocal, which operates a cross-border payment processor to connect global merchants to emerging markets.
SIG Global and Tanglin Venture Partners, also participated in Inshorts’ new round, which values the startup at about $125 million, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
Azhar Iqubal, founder and chief executive of Inshorts, told TechCrunch in an interview that the startup raised the capital to further scale Public, a social network it launched in April 2019.
Public is a location-based social network that connects individuals to people in their vicinity. Think about people living in the same society, or people in a mall or within a few miles from each other.
Public, which is available in several major Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Assamese, Gujarati and Marathi, is allowing shop owners to drive e-commerce, serving as a classified platform and allowing recruiters to hire people from neighborhood, said Iqubal.
The app, which also provides entertainment and news services, has amassed over 50 million monthly active users, he said. More than 1 million videos are being created on the platform each month.
“There are more than 10,000 urban centres in India and
(Bloomberg) — India’s benchmark equity index ended the session little changed as gains in Reliance Industries Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. were offset by a decline in banks and consumer stocks.
The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 37,973.22 after swinging between gains of as much as 0.7% and a fall of 0.4% in Mumbai. The NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.1%. The previous two sessions of gains have helped trim both gauges’ first monthly losses since May, with overseas investors remaining net sellers of local stocks after four consecutive months of buying.
“In the absence of major cues, it appears to be a traders’ market,” said Chokkalingam G, chief investment officer at Equinomics Research & Advisory Ltd. in Mumbai. “Investors should trade cautiously and book profits wherever they can.”
India’s government is likely to unveil its borrowing plan for the second half of the year Wednesday, while the central bank has yet to reschedule a policy meeting that had been scheduled to start today.
The rupee weakened 0.1% to 73.8587 per U.S. dollar, while the yield on 10-year government bonds fell three basis points to 6.04%.
Twelve of 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a 2.1% decline in a gauge of telecom companies weighed on by Bharti Airtel Ltd.ICICI Bank Ltd. contributed the most to the Sensex decline, decreasing 1.6%, while Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd. had the largest drop, falling 3.8%Reliance Industries Ltd. provided the biggest boost to