Indian fintech start-up BharatPe is at advanced stages of talks to raise around $ 250 million in a new round of financing led by Tiger Global, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The new round, a Series E, values the three-year New Delhi-headquartered company at a pre-currency valuation of $ 2.5 billion, sources said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private . The cycle is not over, so terms may change, sources warned.
BharatPe, which prior to the new round had raised around $ 233 million in equity and $ 35 million in debt, was valued at around $ 900 million in its Series D cycle in February of this year and at $ 425 million. dollars last year.
Indian media outlet CapTable first reported on talks between Tiger Global and BharatPe and said the round would value the startup at over $ 2 billion. BharatPe declined to comment.
BharatPe operates an eponymous service to help offline merchants accept digital payments and secure working capital. Even though India has already become the second largest internet market, with over 600 million users, much of the country remains offline.
Among those beyond the reach of the Internet are traders who run small businesses, such as roadside tea stalls and neighborhood stores. To make these merchants comfortable accepting digital payments, BharatPe relies on QR codes and point-of-sale machines that support the government-backed UPI payment infrastructure.
The startup, which serves more than 6 million merchants, said it deployed more than 50,000 PoS machines in November of last year and enabled monthly transactions worth more than $ 123 million. It does not charge merchants for universal access to the QR code, but seeks to make money by lending. Grover said the startup’s lending activity increased tenfold in 2020.
India’s central bank RBI on Friday granted a license in principle to Centrum Financial Services to establish a small financing bank. Centrum Financial Services worked with BharatPe for the license, according to local media.
The startup is also working on launching two new B2C apps, one of which will allow credit on QR UPI, another source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The new products will launch as early as this month, the source said.