Ecosystem: Investors of rep queue up as FinTech India startups innovate & spread
The FinTech ecosystem is buzzing with innovation. And looks like investors have got their back.
As India earns and spends, FinTech in the country is getting stronger, expanding at a much faster rate than other industries. Deemed to have the highest FinTech adoption rate in the world, Invest India predicts that the Indian FinTech market, currently valued at US$31 billion, will grow to US$84 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 22%.
This month saw a string of funding rounds from investors of repute in the FinTech sector, even as startups get ready to spread their wings into new geographic locations, hire fresh talent, and innovate some more.
Reputed Investors Are Queueing Up
Delhi based Credgenics, the SaaS-based end-to-end debt resolution and legal automation platform, has received US$25 million in a Series-A round, where in the financing round saw the likes of Westbridge Capital and Tanglin Venture Partners.
It also saw participation of marquee investors Ashneer Grover, Founder and CEO of BharatPe, Abhimanyu Munjal, MD and CEO of Hero Fincorp Group, Karthik Bhat, Founder of Force Ventures, and Kushal and Gautam, Founders of Fareye. The round was also co-led by renowned existing investor Accel Partners.
In 2020, Credgenics raised US$3.5 million in a pre-Series-A round led by Accel Partners, DMI Alternatives fund with participation from then existing investors Titan Capital.
FinTech India is marching into the future with ambitious and innovative ideas, and investors are queueing up to claim a slice of the pie
Similarly, StockGro, a social investment startup, raised US$5 million in a pre-Series A round of funding, again led by star investors like Roots Ventures and Velo Partners.
Earlier in December 2020, StockGro raised around US$1 million in an angel round of funding from Unicorn Founders, Kunal Shah of Cred, Vivekananda Hallekere of Bounce, Rahul Garg of Moglix, Ramakant Sharma of Livspace.
It also included prominent Fund Managers like Varun Laul of Investcorp, Ashish Sharma of Innoven Capital, Rohit Sood of Bertelsmann, Ankit Agarwal of Alteria Capital, Tej Kapoor of Fosun, Karthik Bhat of Ubiquity and Family Offices including Creed Capital, Luminaire Capital and Mark V Capital. Falcon Edge Partners are also among the prominent investors in StockGro.
Another leading Indian revenue based financing platform, Klub, raised US$20 million this month. The funding round drew in participation from existing investors 9Unicorns, India’s largest seed fund, and Surge, Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program, along-with Alter Global (US) and GMO VenturePartners (Japan) as new investors.
Over 500 businesses have explored funding with Klub recently, as 2020-2021 saw an unprecedented move from offline to online in India. The company had previously raised a US$2 million pre-seed round at an idea stage led by Surge and multiple angel investors.
More Moolah More Innovation
This kind of funding indicates to a future of further growth and innovation. It also means more hiring and talent acquisition.
The latest Credgenics funding has resulted in the company multiplying its valuation by 5.5 times to US$100 million within a span of six months from its last fundraise. Its plans for the latest funding are to find experienced professionals across all levels and build a world-class leadership team.
StockGro has plans to use the recently raised funding to grow its user base, hire tech talent and build new features.
This kind of funding indicates to a future of further growth and innovation. It also means more hiring and talent acquisition
Rishabh Goel, Co-Founder and CEO, Credgenics, said “We will further upgrade the core offerings, enhance product developments, and boost the R&D…This includes a thorough R&D on the judiciary and fiscal measures prevalent there and then remedy their bad debts situation.”
The funds will also be used to expand into new demographics, strengthen the R&D, scale the core operations across India, improve client services, and streamline the workflow.
Klub, too, plans to utilize the capital to expand its team, accelerate development of its tech and data platform, and expand its product offerings and market segments to make Klub the fastest way to raise capital.
Spreading Geographical FinTech Wings
With all this activity, FinTech is trying to spread throughout India. While this may not mean much yet for the digitally illiterate, it does throw a beam of hope into Tier 2, 3, and 4 cities of India. This is something that investors look to encourage.
Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President at 9Unicorns, says, “At 9Unicorns, our investment thesis is designed to be founder-first and back products that work for both small and large businesses, and have a value proposition for Tier 2/3 India. In Klub we found the perfect mix.”
Thus, a part of expansion for FinTech startups becomes the geographical kind.
In the last nine months, StockGro having become the primary platform across the 105 business schools and colleges has partnered with NIRC, the Northern India Regional Council of ICAI to launch exclusive StockGro leagues for CA students and professionals. The partnership was aimed at helping over 600,000 students and 100,000 professionals to learn the nuances of the stock market.
With all this activity, FinTech is trying to spread throughout India. While this may not mean much yet for the digitally illiterate, it does throw a beam of hope into Tier 2, 3, and 4 cities of India. This is something that investors look to encourage
Similarly, Gurgaon based PayWorld has expanded its operations in the South Indian market with a reach of over 500,000 retailers across India. The startup has already signed 1,04,508 retailers in the southern market, with Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana being the key markets for PayWorld South Zone.
In fact, the platform’s per day average sale of retailers in Tamil Nadu has crossed millions. All their retailers are well versed with the local language and dialect.
This outreach includes a global one too. Credgenics’ post-funding roadmap includes international expansion beyond the Indian demographics. This includes a thorough R&D on the judiciary and fiscal measures prevalent there and then remedy their bad debts situation.
Rainshine Global Inc., a US and India based diversified media and entertainment company, announced the creation of four new FinTech businesses as a part of its expansion to build a global leader in the tech-enabled Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry.
The company will launch two new subsidiaries under the banner of Rainshine Media CreditTech, one each for the US and India, to offer credit solutions to the M&E industry.
Rainshine is also raising US$50 million, combining both new equity as well as credit lines from leading financial institutions to initially develop the media credit business and later add DeFi (Decentralized Finance) tech solutions to broaden the pool of investors.
A Slice of the FinTech Pie
Looking at the startups that have received recent funding, their success has been hard to ignore. For instance, with more than one million user bases, StockGro has over 80% month-on-month retention.
As Japan Vyas, Roots Ventures said during StockGro’s funding, “StockGro is gamifying stock investing and making it more social. These are compelling elements in one platform providing an educational interface to aspiring investors and traders, tremendous exchange of ideas and information amongst participants and on the whole democratizing investing and trading.”
FinTech India is marching into the future with ambitious and innovative ideas, and investors are queueing up to claim a slice of the pie.