Over 200 million people in India conduct financial transactions digitally, but less than 30 million invest in mutual funds and stocks.
An Indian startup that is trying to change that number by wooing millennials announced a new round of funding on Wednesday and has become the new unicorn of the world’s second largest internet marketplace.
Bangalore-based Groww raised $ 83 million in its Series D funding round, which valued the Indian start-up at over $ 1 billion, compared to $ 250 million in its serial $ 30 million. C in September of last year.
Tiger Global has led the new round, and existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, YC Continuity and Propel Venture Partners have participated, said the five-year-old Indian startup, which has raised $ 142 million to date.
Separately, Groww is the eighth Indian startup to achieve unicorn status this year – and the fourth this week. Social commerce Meesho went unicorn on Monday, fintech CRED on Tuesday, and earlier today drug company PharmEasy announced a new round of funding valuing the company at around $ 1.5 billion.
Groww allows users to invest in mutual funds, including systematic investment planning (SIP) and savings linked to stocks, gold, as well as stocks, including those listed on the US stock exchanges. The app offers all funds currently available in India.
The startup has amassed more than 8 million registered users, two-thirds of whom are first-time investors, Lalit Keshre, co-founder and CEO of Groww, told TechCrunch in an interview. Keshre and other former Flipkart executives – Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh and Ishan Bansal – co-founded Groww in 2017.
Keshre said the startup will deploy new funds to accelerate its growth and hire more talent. “We now have fuel for longer term thinking and faster growth,” he said.
Over 60% of Groww users come from small towns and villages in India and 60% of them have never made such investments before, Keshre said. The startup said it has held workshops in several small towns to educate people about the world of investing. The coronavirus pandemic has also accelerated the startup’s growth as young people explore new hobbies.
This is a developing story. More soon…