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business | IST

BharatPe enters the unicorn club after Tiger Global-led $370 million funding

BharatPe, co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018, has become the latest entrant into the coveted unicorn club.

Fintech company BharatPe became the latest entrant to India's unicorn club after it raised $370 million in a fresh funding round led by Tiger Global Management, taking its total valuation to $2.85 billion. The funding round consisted of a $350 million primary and a $20 million secondary component.

Dragoneer Investment Group and Steadfast Capital also participated in this funding round, it said in a statement. Tiger Global will be investing $100 million in the company whereas Dragoneer and Steadfast will be pumping in $25 million each.

A combined investment of $200 million was made by the company’s existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Insight Partners, Coatue Management, Amplo and Ribbit Capital, taking the total to $350 million.

So far, BharatPe has raised close to US$ 600 million in equity and debt.

Ashneer Grover has been elevated as the Co-Founder and Managing Director and he will look after the company’s Strategy, Product, Technology, Capital (IPO, Equity & Debt) functions. Grover previously held the designation of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Suhail Sameer, who was previously the Group President, has succeeded Grover as the new CEO. Sameer will handle the company’s monetization, lending, and its recent foray into banking. He will also be a part of the company’s board of directors.

“We are excited to welcome Tiger, Dragoneer and Steadfast to BharatPe, and are glad that our existing investors continue to double down on us in every round. We now have US$ 0.5B cash on books and are extremely well-capitalized to deliver on our mandate to build India’s first truly Digital Bank,” Grover said in a statement.

These funds will be utilised by BharatPe to make investments into distressed Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, in collaboration with Centrum Financial Services.  As per a Mint report, BharatPe and Centrum will collectively invest $250-300 million into the PMC Bank in the next two years.

BharatPe recently acquired PAYBACK India, the multi-brand loyalty platform to facilitate its offline merchants to roll out rewards and loyalty programmes for its customers. The company is also mulling the launch of ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ services through the PAYBACK platform.

The company was co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018. The same year it launched India’s first UPI interoperable QR code, the first zero MDR payment acceptance service. The company is currently serving over 70 lakh merchants across more than 140 cities.