BharatPe raises $370 mn to become a unicorn


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Merchant payments and financial services provider BharatPe has raised $370 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management. Dragoneer Investor Group and Steadfast Capital also participated in the Series E funding round. The latest round has increased the company’s valuation to $2.85 billion in six months, making it the latest entrant to the ever-growing unicorn club in India. BharatPe had raised $108 million in February this year at a valuation of $900 million.

The funding is a mix of primary and secondary components. The primary component is $350 million and the secondary component is $20 million. All employees holding ESOPs have been given full liquidity in the secondary component.

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Apart from Tiger Global, Dragoneer and Steadfast existing investors such as Coatue Management, Insight Partners, Sequoia Growth, Ribbit Capital and Amplo also participated in the funding round.

Meanwhile, Group President Suhail Sameer has been appointed the CEO of BharatPe, and will be responsible for the company’s overall business, monetisation, brand, banking foray, lending and merchant network expansion. Co-founder Ashneer Grover will take over the role of managing director and will lead strategy, product, technology, capital (IPO, equity and debt) and  focus on the overall people agenda for the company.

Ashneer Grover, co-founder and Managing Director said, “We now have US$ 0.5 billion cash on books and are extremely well capitalised to deliver on our mandate to build India’s first truly Digital Bank. 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.”

Newly-appointed CEO Suhail Sameer said that they hope to scale the business 10X from hereon.

Co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018, BharatPe is present across more than 140 cities. It has enabled disbursement of loans to the tune of Rs 1,800 crore so far to merchants. Its POS business processes over Rs 1,400 crore of payments per month.

Last month, it received in-principle approval from Reserve Bank of India to establish a small finance bank, in partnership with Centrum Financial Services.

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