Business

India’s slice becomes a unicorn with $ 220 million in funding from Tiger Global, Insight Partners and Advent

Rajan Bajaj, founder of Fintech Slice, interfered in a Twitter thread earlier this year, wondering aloud what he needs to do to turn his startup into a unicorn before he turns 30.

At just 28 years old, Flipkart alum Bajaj figured it out.

I turned 28 a few weeks ago. I want @sliceit_ to become a unicorn before I turn 30

We could be valued at $ 100-150 million today

What’s the only thing we have to do today to get there?

– Rajan Bajaj (@rajanbajaj_) January 7, 2021

Slice, valued at under $ 200 million in a round of funding in June this year, has raised a $ 220 million fundraiser that it estimates at over $ 1 billion, the startup said on Monday .

Tiger Global and Insight Partners jointly led the Series B round of the Bangalore-based startup. Sunley House Capital of the private equity firm Advent International, Moore Strategic Ventures, Anfa and the existing investors Gunosy, Blume Ventures and 8i were also involved.

TechCrunch reported earlier last month that Tiger Global and Insight Global were in talks to endorse Slice. A source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that the round could continue to grow to $ 250 million.

Slice has established itself as one of the leading card issuers in India. The startup offers a range of cards aimed at tech-savvy young professionals in the country. “These users have been on Instagram and Snapchat for years,” said Bajaj of Slice customers in an interview with TechCrunch.

“The bar for consumer design is very high for them. We don’t have to teach them how to navigate the app. It’s intuitive to them. They want simplicity and transparency, ”he said.

The average age of Slice customers is 27, which is roughly the age of the team members at Slice who develop the app, he said.

Image credit: washer

The credit card market in India is huge and largely untapped.

Although nearly a billion Indians have bank accounts, only a tiny fraction of that population is covered by the South Asian nation’s young credit rating system.

As we have described in the past, Indian banks rely heavily on archaic methods to determine a person’s creditworthiness and determine whether they deserve a credit card. Their conclusion: giving most Indians a credit card or even a loan is too risky.

Slice approaches this with its own underwriting system. The confidence it has in its insurance system is so great that it launched a $ 27 limit card in September this year – an offer inspired by a request from a potential customer – to to tap the 200 million inhabitants of the country. Bajaj (pictured above) said the new card is rapidly gaining traction but declined to provide any numbers. Slice has a registered user base of over 5 million users.

The startup offers Slice customers a number of functions, such as the option of paying the bill in several installments over three months free of charge, as well as access to discounts on purchases from numerous brands.

Slice says it issues over 200,000 cards every month, making the startup the third largest card issuer in India after two banks, according to a person familiar with industry figures. Slice has a waiting list of over a million users, it said on Twitter.

“Slice has created a product that customers love and that we expect will result in continued growth and market share gains,” said Alex Cook, partner at Tiger Global, in a statement. “We are excited to be working with Rajan and the team to expand access to credit and deliver a great customer experience.”

Slice has an annual sales rate of over $ 60 million, according to the source cited above. The source asked for anonymity as the details are private. Bajaj declined to comment on financial numbers.

Slice will use the fresh funds to expand its product range. In the coming months, it is slated to launch support for UPI, a payment railroad developed by a coalition of retail banks and the most popular way Indians transact online, he said.

The startup could also launch some new cards, one of which is focused on teenagers, the aforementioned source said. Slice is also working on a decentralized product called “& ID,” Bajaj said in a LinkedIn post earlier this year.

“It has become second nature for us to jump back and forth between identities, regardless of whether we are online or offline. What if we pause and think about an ID that can be used anywhere and is completely under your control? Imagine a badge that allows you to accept payments, make KYC, make investments, apply for a visa, rent a car, or even create a unique link to all of your brand’s social presence online – without censorship, ”he said in the Post .

Slice’s UPI offering will be the first product to launch & ID. The startup also wants to hire more people, he said. Slice announced last month that it is offering new hires a three-day, fixed pay, fringe week to attract talent who want to work on other opportunities at the same time – or whatever they want.

“Targeting an as yet unpenetrated market in India, Slice seamlessly enables users to make online payments, pay bills and more,” said Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight Partners, in a statement India, and Slice is good positioned to become a leader in the industry. We look forward to this partnership with Slice as the company continues to scale and grow. “

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