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BYJU’S raised another $250M from Blackrock

Byju’s recently secured a $250 million in fresh funding at a valuation cap of $22 billion earlier this month, indicating that the startup continues to be valued higher by other backers.

New $200M fund by 3one4 Capital to focus on contrarian bets

The fund, sixth overall for 3one4 Capital, was oversubscribed to $250 million but the firm is accepting only $200 million to keep itself lean and disciplined, said Pranav Pai, co-founder and partner at 3one4 Capital.

FinTech startup Acko about to land $120M in new funding

General Atlantic is in talks to lead a $120 million round into Acko, the first tranche of which is about $100 million, a source familiar with the matter said. The round values the Indian startup at $1.5 billion.

FinTech startup PhonePe raised $200M from Walmart

PhonePe has raised another $200 million as part of an ongoing round, a deliberation that has now helped it pull $650 million in recent weeks despite the market slump, as the Indian fintech giant bulks up its war chest following the recent separation from the parent firm Flipkart.

FinTech Slice acquires 5% stake in North East Small Finance bank

Slice has acquired a 5% stake in the Indian bank North East Small Finance in what analysts say is a key step in the unicorn fintech startup journey amid mounting challenges from the central bank that has toppled many young firms.

Sequoia's Surge presented 12 new entrants to SEA and Indian markets

The 12 startups gathered in the presentation hall had been hand-picked from about 3,600 applicants for the latest cohort of Sequoia’s four-year-old early-stage-focused Surge program

FinTech CRED gets into BNPL play in India

Cred flash, the Bengaluru-headquartered startup’s foray into buy now and pay later category

India to suspend 90 lending apps because of China's influence

The officials said the Ministry of Home Affairs has received reports of cybercrimes where Chinese firms have access to some Indian lending apps through APIs, which they are using to store Indian consumers’ data outside of the country, the source said. The IT Ministry is concerned about the historic or current presence of Chinese investors on the cap tables of some lending apps in India, the officials said, according to a source familiar with the matter. The officials said on Tuesday that some apps are also getting impacted because of their sketchy loan-collection practices and customer services, according to the source, addressing a longstanding pain point of Indian consumers. The Indian government also banned dozens of apps including ByteDance’s TikTok, Xiaomi’s Community and Video Call apps and Alibaba Group’s UC Browser and UC News in mid-2020.

PhonePe expands into UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan

Onboarding merchants to accept the UPI payments in the foreign markets will be a key test for India’s NPCI, because without merchants, users on PhonePe and other Indian UPI payments apps won’t be able to make any payments. PhonePe’s step is also in line with the vision of NPCI, the body that oversees the UPI payments, which believes that within this year Indians in many foreign cities including Dubai will not need to use any other payment method, according to one of the fintech execs. Bengaluru-headquartered fintech giant PhonePe said on Tuesday that it extending support for UPI international payments in the UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan. Ideally, the acquiring side UPI players will need to partner with local payments processor or aggregators that can extend support for UPI at scale among the local merchants.

PhonePe to see over quarter billion in revenue in 2022

PhonePe, which is valued at $12 billion, has projected a revenue of $325 million in the calendar year 2022 and $504 million in 2023, according to a valuation report prepared by the auditing firm KPMG and filed by PhonePe. A concern for PhonePe’s growth was Indian regulators enforcing a market cap check on each player, but the deadline for the new guidelines was extended last month and now won’t come into effect until 2025, giving PhonePe another two years of fast-growth. The nine-month financials marks a jump from the $201.6 million revenue that the Bengaluru-headquartered generated in the 12-month period ending in financial year March last year. The startup, backed by Walmart, doesn’t expect to turn EBIDTA positive, a key profitability metric, until the calendar year 2025, KMPG wrote in its valuation report.

Walmart to invest another $2.5B in India UPI based tech

Walmart is preparing to spend over $2.5 billion in India as the retailer doubles down on the opportunities it sees in India e-commerce and payments markets even as the firm contends with rising costs amid the market downturns. Walmart, which missed the e-commerce race in the U.S., has coughed up over $20 billion on Flipkart and PhonePe to buy the lion’s share in India’s e-commerce and payments markets. Amazon faced a very public setback in the country last year after India’s largest retail giant Reliance outwitted the American firm into securing retailer Future Group’s assets. The company, which owns majority stake in Flipkart, is now looking to spend about $1.5 billion to buy back e-commerce firm’s shares from early backers Tiger Global and Accel Partners, Indian newspaper Economic Times reported Thursday.

Pakistani SECP to limit the digital lending

Pakistan markets regulator issued new guidelines for digital lending in the country, cracking down on several sketchy practices that it said have become prevalent in the South Asian market. The non-banking finance firms will be required to share these key facts with consumers through audio or video and emails and text messages in both English and Urdu languages. Neighboring nation India also introduced strict rules surrounding digital lending in a move that has toppled the local fintech industry. (You can read the full-guidelines here {PDF}.)

FinTech startup Money View raised Series E round of $75M led by Apis Partners

Indian fintech Money View said on Monday it has raised $75 million in a new funding round, its second this year, despite the market slump as it looks to scale its core credit business and build more products in the South Asian market. The eight-year-old startup offers personalized credit products and financial management solutions to customers who otherwise don’t have a credit score and so can’t avail credit from banks and other financial institutions. Apis Partners led Money View Series E funding round, valuing the Bengaluru-headquartered startup at $900 million, up from $615 million in a $75 million Series D funding round in March. Money View plans to deploy the fresh funds to grow its credit business, broaden its product portfolio with services such as digital bank accounts, insurance, wealth management and hire more talent, it said.

BaaS SBM Bank India announces round of fundraising at $200M valuation

Some venture investors have also shown appetite to invest in banks in recent months – Accel and Quona recently backed Shivalik Small Finance Bank, for instance – but a growing number of other banks including RBL and Federal Bank have employed a similar strategy as SBM and courted many startups in the past two years. The Indian arm of SBM Bank, one of the banks that has aggressively worked with fintech startups in the South Asian market, is engaging with investors to raise capital and pitching the vision of becoming one of the top banking-as-a-service providers in the country, according to a source familiar with the matter. The firm sees its deep partnerships with fintech startups such as Bengaluru-headquartered fintechs Razorpay and Slice as a key growth pillar, according to an investor presentation seen by journalist. The bank has actively courted fintech startups as customers, offering them co-branded cards and powering their neobanks, as it sought to differentiate itself from the large competitors that for years avoided engaging with the younger firms.

FinTech startup KreditBee raised Series D round of $80M

Providing a complement to the longer process of applying to banks directly for loans, to facilitate lending on its platform, KreditBee works both with non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and banks registered with the Reserve Bank of India, including Krazybee Services, IIFL Finance, Incred Financial Services, Vivriti Capital, Northern Arc Capital, PayU Finance, Poonawalla Fincorp, Piramal Capital and Housing Finance and Cholamandalam Investment and Finance. The startup said it is planning to use the fresh funds to invest in its product development, specifically to expand from unsecured personal loans to secured loans, home loans and credit lines, and to start work on adjacent services such as insurance, credit score reports and merchant-side offers. The digital loans business in India has been the subject of a lot of controversy, not least for over-predatory and un-transparent practices, yet that existed alongside the rise of a handful of startups that hoping to apply tech to build products that are clearly understood and fill a need in the market for quick, short-term access to capital. KreditBee today offers instant personal loans of up to $3,700 (3 lakhs Indian rupees) as well as loans for salaried individuals and purchases via e-commerce platforms.

CreditVidya to be acquired by CRED

The startup, which offers users the ability to manage and pay their credit card and scores of other bills on time as well as access to D2C brands and loans, backed peer-to-peer lender Liquiloans two months ago, invested in lender CredAvenue earlier this year and expense management platform HapPay in December. CRED is acquiring CreditVidya, a SaaS startup that helps firms underwrite first-time borrowers, in the latest of a series of investments from the Bengaluru-headquartered fintech as it broadens its infrastructure and offerings. The two firms will continue to operate independently and CRED will extend its employee stock program and other benefits to CreditVidya workforce, CRED said in a statement. The 10-year-old CreditVidya — headquartered in Hyderabad and backed by Navroz Udwadia, Kalaari Capital and Matrix Partners — had raised $10 million in previous financing rounds and was last valued at about $30 million post-money.

Bharat Web3 Association backed by Coinbase and Polygon in India

Top crypto firms including Coinbase and Polygon are among the firms that have formed an industry body in India to promote dialogue between key stakeholders and drive awareness about web3, months after the largest local crypto advocacy group was disbanded. In the wake of the uncertainty, the local ecosystem has seen some talent move outside of the country and a growing number of local entrepreneurs build for the foreign markets and avoid serving customers in India, the world’s second-largest internet market. The Indian central bank continues to force the hand of banks from engaging with crypto platforms in India, a move that has made on-ramp a nightmare for the firms involved, people familiar with the matter said. Members of the new industry body, named Bharat Web3 Association (BWA), include top local crypto exchanges including CoinDCX, CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX.

Banking startup Decentro raised Series A round of $4.7M

Decentro has partnered with scores of industry players including Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, Visa, RuPay, Quickwork, Equifax, Aadhaar and National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to offer solutions for prepaid payment instruments, no-code workflows, conversational banking via WhatsApp and enable document verification and KYC process. Indian angel investors including CRED founder Kunal Shah, Groww co-founder and CEO Lalit Keshre, Gupshup co-founder and CEO Beerud Sheth and former CBO of BharatPe Pratekk Agarwaal also participated in the funding round. India Decentro, the Y Combinator-backed startup that helps companies enter the fintech market by deploying its APIs, has raised $4.7 million in a Series A round. The Bengaluru-based startup offers banking and payments APIs that allow development of fintech products such as banking, payment cards, neobanking and collections and payout services in a short period of time.

Indian CCI fines $113M and tells Google  to permit 3rd party payments in Play Store

India antitrust watchdog has hit Google with $113 million fine for abusing the dominant position of its Google Play Store and ordered the firm to allow app developers to use third-party payments processing service for in-app purchases or for purchasing apps, the second such penalty on the Android-maker in just as many weeks in its largest market by users. The antitrust watchdog has directed Google to introduce a series of changes to its Play Store policies, which as with allowing developers to use third-party billing system, requires compliance within three months: Google shall not impose any anti-steering provisions on app developers and shall not restrict them from communicating with their users to promote their apps and offerings, in any manner. The investigation also concluded that: Mandatory imposition of GPBS [Google Play Billing System] disturbs innovation incentives and the ability of both the payment processors as well as app developers to undertake technical development and innovate and thus, tantamount to limiting technical development in the market for in-app payment processing services. Google shall not impose any condition (including price related condition) on app developers, which is unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory or disproportionate to the services provided to the app developers.

Startup K12 Techno Services raised $50M backed by Sequoia India

Sequoia India is in advanced stages of deliberations to invest over $50 million in K12 Techno Services, a startup that offers a range of services to education institutions and also runs its own chain of schools, doubling down on a firm that it first backed over a decade ago, two sources familiar with the matter told journalist. K12 Techno Services — which has raised over $75 million in previous rounds, according to Tracxn — also engaged with TPG and Accel in recent weeks but has decided to move ahead with existing backer Sequoia India, one of the sources said. The deal represents Sequoia’s aggressive and multi-faceted approach to tackling the edtech market in India, where over 300 million students go to school and participate in competitive college entrance exams. K12 Techno Services runs Orchids – The International School chain in over two dozen cities in India.

JFS to branch off of Reliance to offer financial services plus telecom

Reliance Industries, run by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, said in a statement that it will be incubating, acquiring and inking joint ventures in the new unit, which is called Jio Financial Services, to broaden its offerings to add insurance, payments, digital broking and asset management. A fintech executive, who requested anonymity speaking about an adjacent business, said Reliance could hypothetically use its brand name to raise capital at some of the lowest cost in the country and then disburse loans and make good profits. Reliance Industries, which clocks a consolidated revenue of over $100 billion, operates the nation largest telecom network with over 420 million subscribers and runs the country’s largest retail chain with over 16,000 stores. Every Reliance shareholder will get one share of the new firm for each share they held in the parent firm, the company said.

Amazon-backed InsurTech Acko to get extra $50M from General Atlantic

General Atlantic is in talks to invest about $50 million in Acko, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, doubling down on its bet on the Indian insurtech at a time when most investors are treading investment opportunities carefully. The New York-headquartered growth equity investor is positioning to lead a new financing round of \[…\]

India to deploy 75 digital banking units in villages

The digital banking units, set up in collaboration with over 20 public and private banks, are brick-and-mortar outlets that are equipped with tablets and internet services to help individuals and small businesses open their savings accounts, access government identified schemes, perform verifications, make transactions and avail loans and insurance. India on Sunday launched 75 digital banking units in villages and small towns across the country in a move that it said will help bring financial services and literacy to more citizens. Availing banking services has traditionally been a struggle for people living in villages and small towns, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even as more than a billion bank accounts exist in India, people living in remote areas have had to typically take a day off from the work to visit a nearby city for their banking related work.

Billing startup Zenskar raised seed round of $3.5M

Apurv Bansal, co-founder of Zenskar, said in an interview that 10% to 15% of SaaS companies today have moved toward a consumption-based pricing model on customers’ demand because of macro tailwinds such as product-led growth, automation and AI. The market is flooded with similar SaaS billing platforms, but Bansal said Zenskar allows companies to configure its solution in a no-code, low-code manner, without requiring them to rely on engineers. Headquartered in New York and Bengaluru, Zenskar is building a platform for SaaS companies to generate bills for their complex pricing plans — whether they are based on usage-based pricing, subscriptions, nuanced discounts, credits, custom currencies, prepaid or ramp deals. Zenskar, a startup that is aiming to help SaaS companies automate their billing workflows, has raised $3.5 million in a seed funding round.

Samsung to launch UPI based  credit card in India

The Samsung Axis Bank Credit Card, powered by Visa, is our next big India-specific innovation that will change the way our customers buy Samsung products and spend on services through a series of industry-leading features. The South Korean giant said it has partnered with the Mumbai-headquartered Axis Bank and global payments processor Visa to launch the cards, which it is calling the Samsung Axis Bank Credit Card. Samsung has launched two credit cards in India, entering a crowded category that sees more than 50 companies fiercely compete for consumers’ attention in the world second largest internet market. Indian banks have issued over a billion debit cards to customers in the country, but fewer than 25 million unique individuals in the nation have a credit card, according to industry estimates.

Crypto Tax startup Binocs raised $4M led by BEENEXT

Shingal, the startup’s CEO, said crypto hedges and investment funds often run with a small number of staff, and the process of calculating tax and performing compliance is time consuming because they have to pull data from multiple sources, merge it and then adhere to different compliance and reporting regulations for each type of transaction. Founded in May 2022 by Tonmoy Shingal and Pankaj Garg and based in Bangalore, Binocs currently has over 1,000 users, including retail and institutional investors who need to perform forensic accounting and risk management. He added that regulations are one of the biggest obstacles to more adoption of crypto, with about 15 to 20 countries that currently tax crypto investments, and 60 to 70 that will in the future. Binocs’ founders point to figures from the Coin Market Cap that say the total market cap of the crypto industry rose from about $325 billion in September 2020 to $1 trillion in September 2022.

InsurTech Zopper raised Series C round of $75M led by Creaegis

Kuila said PhonePe never held any stake in Zopper, and the startup, which counts Tiger Global among its backers, continues to be supported by its early backers and new investors. Zopper currently has presence in over 1,200 Indian cities and has partnered with over 150 players in the industry, including retail group Amazon, ride-hailing startup Ola, retail chain Croma, phonemaker Xiaomi, Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, and Equitas Small Finance Bank. He said Zopper is initially aiming to first reach nearly $1 billion in revenue, and over the course of about five years it will file for an initial public offering. That business, an API platform for insurance infrastructure, said on Tuesday it has raised $75 million in new funding.

SEBI suspends InsurTech Digit before its $440M IPO in India

Founded by Kamesh Goyal, an ex-KPMG executive with more than three decades of experience in the insurance industry, Digit has simplified the process of buying insurance, allowing users the ability to self-inspect, claim submissions and process service requests from their smartphones, it said in the filing last month. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Indian market regulator, updated the status of Fairfax-backed Digit to note that it had moved the process of issuance of observations for the startup’s filing into abeyance. The Indian startup, valued at $3.5 billion and which also counts Sequoia Capital India, TVS Capital, A91 Partners and cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma among its backers, filed the draft red herring prospectus to go public last month. SEBI’s move comes at a time when several local startups, including budget hotel chain Oyo and financial services platform MobiKwik, have delayed their IPO plans as they closely monitor the condition of the global market, which has reversed much of the gains from the 13-year bull run.

CRED to invest $10M in its lending vendor LiquiLoans

CRED partnered with LiquiLoans last year to launch CRED Mint, a service that allows CRED customers to lend to one another at an interest rate of up to 9% annually. CRED, backed by Tiger Global, Sequoia India, Alpha Wave Ventures and Dragoneer and valued at $6.4 billion, also engaged with Amazon-backed Smallcase earlier this year, initially to explore an investment and later for a majority acquisition, journalist reported earlier. CRED plans to invest about $10 million in its lending partner LiquiLoans as the Indian fintech startup broadens its ownership in financial services, journalist has learned and confirmed. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup investment in Mumbai-headquartered LiquiLoans increases the lender’s valuation to close to $200 million, the firms said in a statement.

Sequoia expands into India and SEA early-stage markets

Sequoia India and Southeast Asia has launched a new program to help its portfolio early-stage founders connect with international operators who can help the startups expand to new markets, the venture firm said, as it aggressively scales its offerings in the key regions. The program will open up to much of the venture firm’s portfolio, but Sequoia expects early-stage startups — in seed and Series A stages — will find it especially useful, said Harshjit Sethi, managing director at Sequoia India, in an interview. In addition to providing founders with advice, connections and help, the operators will also invest in the startups as part of the program, called Pathfinders, the storied venture firm said. The firm, which launched a $2.85 billion fund for India and Southeast Asia earlier this year, chanced upon the idea of Pathfinders on a Zoom call in 2020 while discussing ways to provide greater help to firms looking to expand outside of the country.

Dozens of FinTechs and neobanks in the fresh YC batch

Last batch, YC’s India founders appeared concentrated mostly within the financial services sector, around 30% when you consider that out of 36 Indian startups, 11 were in the fintech world. Out of the 21 startups YC backed in India this cohort, about 40%, or 8 startups, are in the fintech category. Despite a bit of a slowdown in fintech funding for private companies this year compared to the ultra-hot 2021 market, the sector remains much hotter than it was in years past, accounting for nearly 21% of total venture deals as of Q2 2022. YC’s startups are no exception – only time will tell if their approach of focusing in on international companies operating in niche markets will pay off or if consolidation in the sector has already gone too far for new upstarts to see breakout success.

CoinDCX announced new DeFi platfrom Okto

CoinDCX on Friday launched Okto, a mobile platform that will host other decentralized apps and won’t require users to remember the long string of words as their passwords. Okto is aimed at helping the masses get exposure to web3, said Neeraj Khandelwal, co-founder of CoinDCX, in an interview. The startup has started to engage with developers around the world to onboard their apps onto Okto, he said. The new platform will support over 20 chains and more than 100 protocols and absolve all transaction fee across chains, he said.

CoinSwitch might have violated some of the trading laws in India

India financial crime-fighting agency conducted searches at multiple premises of the Bengaluru-headquartered CoinSwitch Kuber on Thursday, alleging the crypto exchange startup violated forex laws, four people familiar with the matter told journalist. The government agency has performed over half a dozen probes into tech firms this year, including Chinese smartphone vendors Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi and seized more than $1 billion of capital that it said firms had evaded in fraudulent tax computations. The Enforcement Directorate searched the office facilities and residences of some executives and also questioned many, including chief executive Ashish Singhal, two people said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private and sensitive. The agency believes that the Indian startup acquired shares of over $200 million in violation of local forex laws, a person familiar with the matter said.

Byju’s might be in trouble with the regulators in India

Chidambaram, a member of Parliament for Sivaganga in the Lok Sabha, wrote an open letter to the country’s fraud regulator, requesting they open an investigation into the finances of Byju’s, which as he pointed out has yet to secure $250 million capital from its most recent funding round unveiled in March and has fired hundreds of employees and is in parallel looking to acquire an American firm at a valuation of over $2 billion. The startup — backed by scores of high-profile investors including Blackrock, Tiger Global, UBS, Prosus Ventures, Sequoia India and Lightspeed Venture Partners — said in early July that it will file the results within 10 days. India Ministry of Corporate Affairs has asked Byju’s to explain why it hasn’t filed its audited financials for the year ending March 2021, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. Edtech giant Byju’s, which is India’s most valuable startup with a valuation of $22 billion, has missed the deadline to file its audited results by 17 months.

RBI welcomes American Express back to India

In a series of moves last year, the Reserve Bank of India indefinitely barred Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club from issuing new debit, credit or prepaid cards to customers over noncompliance with local data storage rules (PDF). should provide a boost to the local banks and fintechs that for over a year have been able to largely offer customers debit and credit cards powered by Visa and Rupay, a homegrown card network that is promoted by the National Payments Corporation of India, a special body of RBI. The resumption of American Express’ business in India Unveiled in 2018, the local data-storage rules require payments firms to store all Indian transaction data within servers in the country.

WazirX‘s co-founder Nischal Shetty launches Shardeum

The startup eponymous blockchain, which is currently in testnet, aims to be EVM-compatible and use proof-of-stake and proof-of-quorum consensus mechanisms to reduce the cost of running the network and rely on three types of nodes — validator, archival and standby — in its network, it said in the investor deck. Shetty is raising $20 million to $30 million in a seed financing round for his blockchain startup Shardeum, sources said, requesting anonymity as the deliberations are ongoing and private. Indian crypto exchange WazirX‘s co-founder Nischal Shetty is in advanced stages of talks to raise a maiden funding round for his new venture, sources familiar with the matter told journalist. Shardeum is employing a technique called sharding that partitions the network into shards, resulting in more transactions being processed, verified and validated in parallel, the startup explained in an investor deck, reviewed by journalist.

Fundamentum Partnership raised second $0.23B fund in India

Nilekani, co-founder of IT services giant Infosys and who has been instrumental in development and evangelising of several of India digital initiatives, including biometric IDs Aadhaar, and Aggarwal, who founded now IBM-owned BPO firm Daksh, launched Fundamentum in 2019 to back consumer-focused and software-focused startups. Fundamentum Partnership, a venture firm co-founded by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal, has raised $227 million for its second fund as the high-profile tech industry veterans double down on backing startups in the South Asian region. Fundamentum’s new fund comes at a time when startups in India — and beyond — are finding it increasingly difficult to raise capital at terms considered favorable from last year’s bull cycle norm. Aggarwal said many reputed early-stage venture firms have closed new rounds in India in recent quarters, so there’s enough dry powder to continue to back young startups.

Indian pay-later cards startup Uni has temporarily suspended its card services.

Uni, which is backed by General Catalyst, Elevation Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, confirmed in a statement to us that it is suspending card services on its products (Uni Pay 1/3rd Card and the Uni Pay 1/2 Card) and expects to roll out the change to entire customer base by Monday.

FinTech startup Jar raised Series B round of $23M

Tiger Global has led a new funding round in Jar, the Indian fintech that is helping millions of Indians save small amounts to invest in digital gold as the startup gears up to launch a host of new offerings including insurance, mutual funds and lending. On its eponymous app, the startup allows users to choose from different savings options such as roundups — where the nearest round number after a transaction gets saved automatically, as well as setting recurring savings amounts and performing one-time execution, explained Misbah Ashraf, co-founder of Jar. The funding values the one-year-old startup at over $300 million, it said, and saw participation from Folius Ventures, Panthera Capital, Prophetic Ventures, Yes VC, WealthFront founder Adam Nash and Founders Fund principal Zachary Hargreaves as well as early backers Arkam Ventures, and WEH. Jar, which is also looking to hire another 50 people, is developing and testing secured and unsecured lending, mutual funds, fixed deposits, peer-to-peer loans and insurance, he said.

InsurTech Digit files for $440M IPO led by Sequoia India

Digit, founded by Kamesh Goyal, an ex-KPMG executive with more than three-decades of experience in the insurance industry, says it has simplified the process of buying insurance, allowing users the ability to self-inspect, claim submissions and process service requests from their smartphones. The startup, which also counts Fairfax Group, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and TVS Capital among its backers and has raised over $540 million from them, says its motor insurance coverage generated $413 million in gross written premium in the financial year that ended in March. The five-year-old startup, which sells auto, health and travel insurance, is part of a group of firms that is attempting to expand the number of individuals in India that buy insurance coverage. The Indian startup, whose valuation jumped to $3.5 billion in a Sequoia India-led financing round last year, said in a filing to the local regulator Tuesday that it plans to raise up to $157.5 million through issue of new shares while existing shareholders plan to sell about 109.45 million shares.

Vauld's $46M are seized by ED in India

Flipvolt Technologies, the India registered entity of Singapore-headquartered Vauld, was used to deposit 3.7 billion Indian rupees by 23 entities, including non-banking financial companies and fintech firms, into the wallets controlled by Yellow Tune Technologies, the Enforcement Directorate said Friday of its ongoing investigation. Vauld’s India entity failed to provide the agency with a complete trail of crypto transactions made by Yellow Tune and also could not supply KYC details of the wallets, ED said. The agency said it has frozen assets from Vauld’s India entity till it provides a complete fund trail. Vauld, which suspended its customers from withdrawing, trading and depositing on its eponymous platform last month, recently filed for bankruptcy and reportedly owes creditors $363 million, according to news outlet The Block, which cited legal documents it obtained.

RBI in India calls for more transparency in FinTech

Option may be provided for borrowers to accept or deny consent for use of specific data, including option to revoke previously granted consent, besides option to delete the data collected from borrowers by the DLAs/ LSPs. Regulated entities will also be required to ensure that loan service providers they engage with have appointed a nodal grievance redressal officer to address complaints lodged against fintech startups or other digital lending firms, the guidelines add. The Reserve Bank of India has published guidelines that it intends to enforce for digital lending firms, recommending more transparency and control to customers as the South Asian nation central bank moves to take further steps to crack down on sketchy practices and creditors. The central bank also suggested that consumers should be provided with an option to accept or deny consent for use of any specific data and also the ability to revoke any previously granted consent and delete historic collected data.

What happened to Indian WazirX after it got acquired by Binance?

Binance announced the acquisition of WazirX in late 2019 in a blog post. The clarification follows India’s Enforcement Directorate freezing WazirX’s assets worth over $8 million, citing suspected violation of foreign exchange rule.

FPL Technologies raised Series D of $100M+ for its OneCard FinTech

FPL Technologies, an Indian startup that operates credit cards called OneCard, is the latest in the South Asian market to join the unicorn club following a new round of funding.

Lightspeed launches second $0.5B SEA-focused fund

Lightspeed began investing in India over 10 years ago and has amassed an impressive portfolio of several fast-growing startups including Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, SaaS firm Innovaccer, e-commerce giant Udaan, social media giant ShareChat and payments giant Razorpay. The firm, which has a team of nine partners in India and Southeast Asia, is nearly doubling the size of its fund because it’s seeing more opportunities in the regions as a young crop of startups attempt to solve deeper and newer problems, said Rahul Taneja, a partner at Lightspeed, in an interview with journalist. The fund, fourth for Lightspeed India, was hard-capped at $500 million, meaning it didn’t want to raise additional capital, said the firm, which unveiled its $275 million third India fund in 2020. The Tuesday announcement confirms journalist April report, which said Lightspeed had kick started fundraising deliberations for the new India and Southeast Asia fund and was aiming to raise about $500 million.

Platform startup MoHash raised seed round of $6M led by Sequoia SEA

MoHash has been working to solve this challenge for a year and has assembled several experienced tech and finance individuals from firms such as Goldman Sachs, Amazon, Oliver Wyman, India Stack and Samsung.

Google backs Progcap, a startup delivering working capital to small retailers in India

Google has invested in Progcap, an Indian startup that provides working capital to small and medium-sized businesses, the firms said Tuesday, making a new push into a category that has attracted the attention of Facebook and Amazon in recent years.

Indian RBI might let FinTechs ease in talks on agreeing e2e KYC PPI

Payments giants and fintech startups in India on Saturday requested the central bank to treat widely used prepaid payment instruments on par with bank accounts for customers who have undertaken certain verifications, days after the monetary authority signalled industry-wide crackdown. The Payments Council of India, a unit of influential industry body IAMAI, said in a \[…\]

RBI to tighten the regulation for FinTechs in India

The Reserve Bank of India has informed dozens of fintech startups that it is barring the practice of loading non-bank prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) — prepaid cards, for instance — using credit lines, in a move that has prompted panic among — and existential threat to — many fintech startups and caused some to compare the decision to China’s crackdown on financial services firm last year.

Neobank StashFin raised Series C round of $270M

Singapore-based Stashfin has raised $270 million in a new funding round as the neobanking platform, which currently only serves customers in India, looks to expand to Southeast Asia and other South Asian markets, it said Tuesday.

InsurTech PazCare raised $8.2M led by JAFCO

Pazcare, a Bangalore-based employee benefits and insurtech platform, announced today it has raised $8.2 million led by Jafco Asia, bringing its valuation to $48 million. Pazcare currently offers health, term and accident insurance and outpatient health benefits. Malik told journalist the new funding will be used to expand Pazcare’s offerings and double its team size. Pazcare’s last round of funding was a $3.5 million seed round raised in October 2021.

Jack Dorsey and Jay Z back The Bitcoin Academy

Twitter co-founder and Block CEO Jack Dorsey is teaming up with artist Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) to launch The Bitcoin Academy at Marcy Houses, the public housing complex in Brooklyn, New York where Jay-Z grew up.

Banking startup CRED raised Series F round of $140M led by GIC

CRED is raising $140 million in a new financing round, its fourth funding in the past year and a half, as the Indian fintech startup courts millions of high credit score customers and broadens its offerings.

Banking startup Slice raised Series C round of $50M at $1B+ valuatioin

Slice, a fintech startup that is bringing credit card features to millions of Indians, has raised $50 million in a new financing round as it looks to scale its recently launched UPI payments product and push to make its core credit business profitable.

Indian neobank Open raised Series D round of $50M

The startup said it is looking to launch three new products — revenue-based financing Flo, early settlement card offering Settl and working capital lending Capital — in the coming months to further broaden its offerings. Existing backers Tiger Global, Temasek and 3one4 Capital also participated in the round.

FinTech startup zenda raised seed round of $9.4M

Zenda, a UAE-based startup looking to change how parents pay school bills, and the way educational institutions manage fee collection, is eyeing Africa as its next frontier for growth.

FinTech Leatherback raised pre-seed of $10M led by Zedcrest Capital

U.K.-based Leatherback offers multi-currency accounts with the option to exchange currency across multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, South Africa, the UAE, Denmark, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire. Now, fintech startup Leatherback, a U.K.-based cross-border payments platform, has raised what it describes as a $10 million pre-seed round led by ZedCrest Capital, a pan-African investment firm. Leatherback offers a multiple currency solution for cross-border transactions. Immigrants, international students, and the migrant population in general all require international payments, or foreign exchange.

Slice works on introducing UPI support in India

Bengaluru-headquartered Slice, which became a unicorn late last year, plans to introduce UPI payments for its users within weeks, according to a source familiar with the matter. National Payments Corporation of India, the governing body that oversees UPI ecosystem, is also working to push new changes that are positioned to create a level-field among UPI players.

Indian Ola to double down on financing by acquiring Avail Finance

Ola said on Thursday evening it has reached an agreement to acquire Avail Finance, a financial services startup that serves the blue-collar workforce, as the ride-hailing giant looks to expand its financial services offerings.

Paytm subsidiary Payments Bank did not leak data to Chinese

Bloomberg reported this afternoon that Paytm digital bank was barred from adding new customers because it violated India’s rules by allowing data to be shared with China-based entities that indirectly owned a stake in Paytm Payments Bank.

BNPL FinTech Tabby raised Series B extension round of $54M led by STV

Tabby, the Dubai-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform that lets users shop, pay later and earn cash from over 3,000 global brands, including Adidas, IKEA and Bloomingdale, has completed a Series B extension of $54 million.

Ashneer Grover got kicked from Indian FinTech BharatPe board

Last week, the board terminated the position of Madhuri Grover, following which she tweeted damaging information about the startup’s other co-founders and questioned the integrity of Rajnish Kumar, a board member of BharatPe and who previously served as the chairman of the State Bank of India.

Temasek to back OneCard at $1.5 billion valuation

FPL Technologies, the Indian startup that operates OneCard, is set to double its valuation to about $1.5 billion in a new financing round, just a month after it disclosed its previous funding, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Neobank NiYO raised Series C round of $100M led by Accel

Niyo co-founder and chief executive Vinay Bagri told journalist in an interview that the startup has amassed over 4 million customers across its banking and wealth management products. India Niyo has raised $100 million in a new financing round as the consumer-facing neobank platform looks to add lending and insurance to its offerings and make deeper inroads in the world’s second largest internet market.

Indian FinTech CRED looks to invest into Smallcase

Indian fintech CRED is in talks to back the Bengaluru-headquartered startup Smallcase, three sources familiar with the matter said, as the Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Global-backed firm looks to expand its wealth offerings to customers.

Ashneer Grover requests BharatPe's CEO to be removed

BharatPe co-founder and managing director Ashneer Grover has asked the board for the removal of chief executive Suhail Sameer from the board in the latest of a series of remarkable turn of events at the Tiger Global-backed Indian fintech startup.

WealthTech startup Jar raised Series A round of $32M

Users’ investments in digital gold is backed by physical gold of the same amount and they can choose to withdraw that much gold or liquidate their investments at any time, said Misbah Ashraf, co-founder and chief product officer of Jar.

QR code payments startup qlub raised seed round of $17M

French startup Sunday, which didn’t even exist in 2020, has raised large sums to allow people to easily pay and share the bill, freeing up wait staff and increasing turnover in restaurants. The payment solution for consumers in restaurants has now raised $17 million in seed financing in a round co-led by Berlin Cherry Ventures and Point Nine Capital of Germany. The benefits for restaurants include a higher potential turnover of tables, more possibility of tips for wait staff and returning customers who enjoy the simple experience. The founding team of Qlub consists of Arun Sharma, Eyad Alkassar, Filiberto Pavan, Gizem Bodur, Jeff Matsuda, Jianggan Li, John Mady, Mahmoud Fouz, Oscar Bedoya and Ramy Omar.

India's Central Bank wants to tax NFTs at 30%

India on Tuesday announced plans to launch a digital currency by next year and tax cryptocurrencies and NFTs as the country moves closer to recognizing cryptocurrencies as legal tender in the world second largest internet market.

BharatPe's Ashneer Grover was accused of questionable conduct

The startup, valued at $2.85 billion and backed by Tiger Global and Ribbit Capital, said on Wednesday its board members had agreed to Grover request to take a voluntary leave of absence from the startup until the end of March. Grover in the reported email was concerned about the additional time Sequoia Capital India, the most prolific venture capital firm in the South Asian market, was taking in giving a term sheet to the startup. The venture capital firm was not comfortable with Grover selling millions of dollars’ worth of shares in a secondary transaction in the startup’s Series B, the years-old email said, according to the newspaper. Recording of a phone call surfaced and went viral on social media earlier this month in which Grover appeared to have abused and threatened a staff of Kotak Mahindra Bank for refusing him financing to buy shares in online fashion startup Nykaa’s IPO.

FinTech startup M2P Fintech raised Series C round of $56M

M2P Fintech, a payments infrastructure startup that has established market dominance in India, has raised $56 million in a new financing round, less than three months after closing its previous funding, as it works to deepen its footprints in several international geographies.

Financial Services startup Refyne raised Series B round of $82M

Refyne has raised a new financing round, just seven months after securing its previous funding, as the Bengaluru-based startup scales its platform that helps workers access their earned salaries in real time.

Indian FinTech Rupifi raised $25M led by Bessemer Venture Partners

Rupifi has raised $25 million in a new financing round as the Indian startup, which currently provides buy now, pay later service to several marketplaces to serve their merchants, looks to expand its business-to-business payments offerings. Buy now, pay later is Rupifi’s marquee offering today, but Jain, who previously worked at American Express and Razorpay, and sold his edtech platform StudyBud in an all-cash deal, said that the startup will be expanding its product offerings in the next few months. Rupifi works with more than two dozen business-to-business marketplaces.

Indian FinTechs and others raised $39B in 2021

Tiger Global, which has made over 50 investments in India this year, is currently conducting due diligence to back an additional nine startups in the country, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Koko Networks launches POS in Kenya

The Koko Club products, displayed in designated spaces within the agents’ small shops, will only be sold to registered Koko Club members. Koko Club, its new business line, is selling the products directly to consumers through the dukas (small shops) that currently serve as the company agents for its bio-ethanol cooking fuel and stoves. The shop owners (agents) are using Koko’s PoS system to sign up customers, capturing their biodata, and issuing them with an electronic card that they will use when buying products from any Koko Club shop.

Banking startup Jupiter raised Series C round of $86M led by Tiger Global Management

Industry veteran Jitendra Gupta consumer-focused neobank Jupiter has raised about $86 million in a new financing round as the Bangalore-based startup gears up to offer its customers lending and wealth management services. Tiger Global, QED and Sequoia Capital India co-led the two-year-old startup’s Series C round.