Indian lending and digital payments startup BharatPe has obtained $350 million in new funding, according to a Wednesday (Aug. 4) report from the Economic Times. The most recent funding round has pushed the three-year-old company’s value to $2.85 billion.
As PYMNTS reported previously, the latest funding follows a Series D funding round in February that raised $108 million and upped the valuation to $900 million. At the time, BharatPe Co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover said the firm had a balance sheet of more than $200 million, adding that it set a goal to deliver $30 billion in total payment volume and create a loan book of $700 million with small retailers by March 2023.
The new funding places BharatPe in the highly coveted category of unicorn, which is reserved for privately held companies with a valuation higher than $1 billion. According to CB Insights, there are 779 unicorn companies worldwide.
The company has rapidly risen in valuation. In 2020, when BharatPe raised $75 million in Series C funding, its value was $400 million. With this week’s funding announcement, the company has raised a combined total of $618 million to date.
The most recent funding round was backed by current investors Coatue Management, Insight Partners, Sequoia Growth, Ribbit Capital and Amplo, with Tiger Global leading the contributions and new investors Dragoneer Investment Group and Steadfast Capital chipping in. The New Delhi-based company said it also completed a $20 million secondary share sale in conjunction with an employee share buyback effort.
Grover and Shashvat Nakrani co-founded BharatPe in 2018 to simplify financial inclusion for Indian merchants. The company was behind many firsts in India, including the first UPI interoperable QR code, a ZERO MDR payment acceptance service and a UPI payment-backed merchant cash advance service. The company works with 50 lakh merchants across 35 cities and provides merchants with a QR code backed by the country’s UPI payments structure.