BharatPe Raises $370 Mn In Series E At $2.85 Bn Valuation

The fundraising, which pushes BharatPe into the Unicorn club, gives the fintech startup capital as it takes over distressed lender PMC Bank with Centrum Financial Services to create a small finance bank

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BharatPe, a financial services company for merchants, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $370 million in a Series E equity round, at a post-money valuation of $2.85 billion. The primary component of the round is $350 million and a secondary component of $20 million. All employees holding vested ESOPs have been given full liquidity in the secondary.

BharatPe

“We are excited to welcome Tiger, Dragoneer and Steadfast to BharatPe, and are glad that our existing investors continue to double down on us in every round. We now have $0.5 billion cash on books and are extremely well-capitalized to deliver on our mandate to build India’s first truly digital bank. Rarely does one witness the original thesis play out without any pivot. BharatPe will remain maniacally focused on lending as the core business and small merchants as our primary target segment. At BharatPe, we have a high-performing team attracted to our focussed execution, growth potential, and culture of meritocracy. I am happy to appoint Suhail Sameer as the chief executive officer in recognition of the stupendous business growth he has delivered during the last 1 year and his ability to lead from the front. I am also honored to invite him to the Board of Directors,” said Ashneer Grover, co-founder and managing director, BharatPe.

The round, led by Tiger Global, also saw new participation from Dragoneer Investment Group and Steadfast Capital. Five out of the seven existing institutional investors participated in the round - namely Coatue Management, Insight Partners, Sequoia Growth, Ribbit Capital, and Amplo. BharatPe is now amongst the top 5 most valued fintech startups in India, and has one of the strongest cap tables for any startup in India, the company shared.

Suhail Sameer would be responsible for the overall Business and P&L, merchant network expansion, monetization, lending, banking foray, and the brand. Ashneer Grover, co-founder, and chief executive officer will be elevated to the co-founder and managing director position and will lead strategy, product, technology, capital (IPO, equity, and debt) and drive the overall people agenda for the company.

“Ashneer has done an unbelievable job against odds, in building BharatPe to a market leader in a small span of 3 years, since inception. I am excited to be stepping in his shoes and taking over the responsibilities of chief executive officer. I am sure that with his continued guidance and focus on building a strong tech and product core, we will be able to scale the business tenfold from here. We have the team, capital, technology, brand, product, market, and regulatory regime to create an immensely valuable business. The ball is in our court,” added Suhail Sameer, chief executive officer, BharatPe.

In 2020, post-COVID, BharatPe launched zero MDR card acceptance terminals – BharatSwipe. Currently serving over 70 lakh merchants across 140 cities, the company is a leader in UPI offline transactions, processing 11 crore UPI transactions per month (annualized transaction processed value of $10 billion). The company has already facilitated disbursement of loans totaling over INR 1,800 crore to its merchants, since launch. BharatPe’s POS business processes payments of over INR 1,400 crore/ month. BharatPe has raised close to $600 million in equity and debt, to date.