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Fintech Startups

BharatPe raises around $7 million in debt funding from Trifecta Capital

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Fintech startup BharatPe has raised $6.8 million (₹50 crore) in debt funding from Trifecta Capital.

The Delhi based company has so far raised ₹250 crore ($34 million) in debt funding which would be used to expand its lending business and provide credit to merchants.

This is the third consecutive debt fundraising by the company in recent times. With the last two rounds, it had raised ₹199 crore ($27 million) in debt, including ₹90 crore ($12 million) from Alteria Capital, ₹49 crore ($6.7 million)from ICICI Bank and ₹60 crore ($8.2 million) from InnoVen Capital.

The company intends to raise close to $700 million (₹5,114 crore) of debt capital over the next two years.

Payments and Banking

BharatePe was founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat  Nakraniin 2018. It introduced India’s first UPI interoperable QR code and the first UPI-backed merchant cash advance service.

In November 2020, by processing transactions worth $479 million (₹3,334 crore) through UPI payments, BharatPe overtook Google to become the third largest player in merchant UPI payments.

Earlier this week, BharatPe put a joint bid with Centrum Group to acquire Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank. This was part of its plan to get a small finance bank license from the Reserve Bank of India.

Together, they have proposed to pay back 100% to retail depositors of the bank as per their demand.  If this goes through regulators, BharatPe will become one of the first fintech startup to get a banking license.

Credit to Small Merchants

Speaking about the latest round of funding, co-founder Ashneer Grover said “The fact that we have been able to raise debt from all three renowned venture debt providers Alteria, Innoven and Trifecta Capital – in the largest single raise is a testimony of the scalability of our business model.”

BharatPe has disbursed loans to more than 1,00,000 merchants and aims to further lend credit to at least 10,00,000 (1 million) small merchants in 2021.

Also read : Fintech startup Siply raises $1 million from Inflection Point Ventures

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Fintech Startups

Razorpay and Paytm told to block transactions of many Chinese instant loan apps

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Following the reports on booming online loan frauds, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have launched investigation on more than 24 Chinese lending application.

They have also directed payment platforms such as Razorpay and Paytm to stop processing transactions of those companies.

These listed instant loan apps offer easy loans with no collateral. Some of these apps operate without regulatory approval and are run by Chinese nationals, dealing substantial amount of money.

Illegal Access

The COVID-19 pandemic gave way for massive pay cuts and job losses, which led many to avail credit through these instant loan apps. Most of these apps do not verify the customer identity through the KYC process or file an official document regarding the credit.

This makes them very popular amongst people in need of urgent cash. These companies give out huge number of loans in small amounts at a very high interest rate. Once the user has agreed to their terms, they illegally get access to their bank account and carry out transactions worth lakhs on those accounts.

Some of these dubious applications include Krazy bean, Krazy rupee, Cash plush, Rupee Pro, Gold Bowl, First cash, real rupee/rupee bear, rupee most, first cash, credit rupee, cool cash, money now, pocket rupee, rupee day and cash goo.

Ongoing Investigation

According to some report, 95% of these applications used Razorpay’s interface to process the transactions. There is still no action or investigation against Razorpay about this matter. Razorpay has banned 400 such apps in the last three months.

Recently, Telangana and Maharashtra state Police have arrested He Jian, a Chinese national and Vivek Kumar from Mumbai in connection with this case.

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has instructed for a working group to suggest measures for the ideal growth of the digital lending business.

Also read: IT Dept. raids Swiggy and Instakart offices for alleged tax evasion by third-party vendors

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Fintech Startups

Cryptocurrency platform CoinSwitch Kuber raises $15 million in Series A funding

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Cryptocurrency investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber has raised $15 million (₹110 crore) in Series A funding.

The round was led by Ribbit Capital and US based crypto-focused investment firm Paradigm. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and CRED founder Kunal Shah also participated.

A Generational Technology brand

CoinSwitch was founded by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni, and Vimal Sagar Tiwari in 2017. Its Indian exclusive crypto platform, CoinSwitch Kuber was launched in June 2020.

Based in Bengaluru, the platform lets users buy, sell, deposit, withdraw and trade over 100 crypto-currencies.

CoinSwitch claims to have processed over $5 billion (₹36,701 crore) in crypto-transactions internationally. And within six months of the launch, the Indian division has seen an investment of over ₹2000 crore ($272 million) from over 1 million (10 lakh) users.

Nick Shalek, General Partner at Ribbit Capital said “We are very excited to invest in CoinSwitch, which we believe can become a generational technology brand in India. Our mandate is to invest in the best entrepreneurs and technologists driving change in financial services.”

Also read: CRED raises $81 million in Series C funding at $806 million valuation

Sixth biggest Bitcoin nation

The worldwide interest for cryptocurrency, especially for Bitcoin has seen a huge rise last year. Its value has risen 300% in the last 12 months. And the phenomena has also trickled down in India, which is currently the sixth biggest Bitcoin nation in the world.

Commenting on the investment, Ashish Singhal, co-founder and CEO of CoinSwitch Kuber said “We aim to double down on the Indian market, and are targeting ten times growth in our user base by the end of the year.”

“To this end, we will invest in product and technology and also run a slew of awareness initiatives to educate investors about the potential of crypto as an emerging asset class.”

Other major crypto firms Vauld and CoinDCX, have also recently raised $2 million (₹14.6 crore) and $13 million (₹95 crore) recently.

Also read: Fintech startup Siply raises $1 million from Inflection Point Ventures

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Fintech startup Siply raises $1 million from Inflection Point Ventures

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Siply interface

Micro-savings fintech startup Siply has raised $1 million (₹7.3 crore) in seed funding from Inflection Point Ventures (IPV).

Siply offers a platform-as-a-service model to enable micro-savings for users of other platforms. It has signed memorandum of understanding with Bighaat, Gig4CE, Pickmywork, and Xoxoday.

Vernacular support for savings

The Bengaluru-based startup was founded in July 2020, by Sousthav Chakrabarty, Anil Bhat, and Nitin Mittal. Its hassle-free interface provides options for micro-savings, instant withdrawal and a wide range of investment options such as mutual funds, gold, equity etc.

The savings are then linked to the user’s monthly earnings, and thus becomes easy to handle. The platform is available in English, Hindi and Kannada for now.

Siply also helps user to digitalize their bank accounts through KYC registration. The platform also has a section for financial-wellness classes on savings and investment.

Also read: Razorpay launches App store, health insurance and vernacular language support

Access for the Under-served

Enabling micro-savings starting at ₹1 ($0.0136), Siply aims to fundamentally change the way small business owners save money.

With this app, it is targeting the 40 crore (400 million) under-served masses in India, who are mostly left out from formal savings and credit.

Speaking about the investment, Ankur Mittal, co-founder and chief operating officer at IPV said “Siply is educating and opening the access for the underserved population to save in a structured manner.”

“Their product pipeline also includes a lending platform and Chit Funds which together would create a huge financial inclusion opportunity,” he said.

With this fresh capital, Siply will expand its team, scale up its tech platforms and initiate partnership with more businesses.

Siply competes with other micro-lending and savings applications such as Lazypay, Instamojo, ZestMoney, EarlySalary, MoneyTap, Capital Float and Shubh Loans.

Also read: Phi Commerce raises $4 million from Singapore based BEENEXT

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