2022 was a turbulent year for startup fundraising. In India, although fintech funding dipped 35% in 2022, the country maintained its position as one of the top three countries for fintech funding, with startups in the sector successfully securing a total of US$6.3 billion, data from Dealroom show.
Against the odds, some of India’s most innovative fintech companies managed to grow in 2022, gaining more market share, expanding overseas and securing backing from top investors.
To get a sense of India’s up-and-coming fintech companies, we look today at the country’s most promising fintech startups, delving in particular the top funded fintechs in India
For this list, we used data from Tech in Asia, CB Insights, Dealroom, StartupTalky, news agencies, as well as companies’ press releases. The list excludes companies that were acquired or merged with other companies, as well as those that went public in stock markets, like Paytm and PolicyBazaar.
PhonePe – US$1.5 billon
Founded in December 2015, PhonePe is a leading payment app in India clocking more than 435 million registered users. The company says it has helped digitize 35 million offline merchants and claims it is the national leader in Bharat Bill Pay System (BBPS), India’s integrated bill payment system, processing over 45% of the transactions on the BBPS platform.
PhonePe forayed into financial services in 2017, providing users with convenient investing options on its platform. Since then, the company has introduced several mutual funds and insurance products.
PhonePe has raised more than US$1.5 billion in funding, according to data from Dealroom, CB Insights, news reports and StartupTalky, and is worth a reported US$12 billion. The company closed its latest round in January 2023, securing US$350 million in funding from General Atlantic. The fundraise followed PhonePe’s recently announced change of domicile to India and full separation from Flipkart.
Pine Labs – US$1.1 billion
Founded in 1998, Pine Labs is a leading merchant commerce omnichannel platform operating across India and Southeast Asia. The company relies on a tech-first approach to digital payments and focuses on simplification at the front end to help businesses embrace fintech products at scale.
In digital payments, Pine Labs’ online payments cloud-based software Plural provides a one-stop payments destination across channels. The software is designed to deliver secure and frictionless online payment experiences to the end user.
In issuing, Qwikcilver is a go-to prepaid, stored value and gift card provider for companies looking to, among other things, bolster their sales, acquire and retain customers and drive operational efficiencies. The solution targets leading corporates, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands, e-commerce companies, the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector and the airlines industry.
And in consumer app, Fave is a fintech platform for the next generation of consumers, providing smart payments and savings, while empowering merchants with a loyalty solution to grow and engage with their customers in a whole new way.
Pine Labs has raised more than US$1.1 billion in funding so far, according to data from Dealroom, CB Insights and StartupTalky. Its latest round was a US$50 million investment secured in March 2022 at a valuation of over US$5 billion.
Pine Labs filed for a confidential IPO filing in the US in January 2022. The company is looking to raise around US$500 million from the public markets, at a valuation of US$6-7 billion.
Razorpay – US$741 million
Established in 2014, Razorpay is a full-stack financial services company which provides Indian businesses and organizations with comprehensive and innovative payment and banking solutions.
The company, which claims more than 8 million business customers including the likes of Facebook, Zomato and Cred, allows its clients to accept, process and disburse payments through credit cards, debit cards, net banking, United Payments Interface (UPI) – India’s real-time payment system –, as well as popular wallets including JioMoney, Mobikwik, Airtel Money, FreeCharge, Ola Money and PayZapp.
The company also provides RazorpayX, a business banking platform that allows customers to open current accounts, process payroll in three clicks, pay their taxes, tap automated vendor payments, get collateral-free corporate card completely free of charge, and more.
Razorpay has raised about US$741 million in funding, according to Fortune India as well as CB Insights and Dealroom data (though StartupTalky puts that number closer to US$815 million). The company’s latest round was a US$375 million Series F secured in December 2021 to further scale its RazorpayX neobanking platform.
The company is valued at US$7.5 billion.
OFB Tech – US$855 million
Founded in 2015, OFB Tech (doing business as OfBusiness) is a business-to-business (B2B) commerce and fintech startup that provides smart procurement and smart financing solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
OfBusiness’ tech-enabled platform facilitates raw material procurement and credit for SMEs. The platform integrates technology to SMEs’ buying behavior to make available better products, at better prices, in better timelines to customers with a comprehensive online and offline support.
The company also provides SMEs with access to cash flow-based financing for buying raw materials through its nonbank financial institution (NBFC) Oxyzo Financial Services, and offers a host of tech services for SMEs like BidAssist for new growth opportunities.
OfBusiness has raised more than US$855 million in funding so far, according to data from CB Insights, Dealroom and StartupTalky. Its latest round was a US$325 million investment secured in December 2021 that gave it a US$5 billion valuation.
The company is reportedly in talks to do a secondary fundraise ahead of its potential IPO in 2023, giving some of its existing investors an exit at a valuation of US$8-9 billion, sources told Moneycontrol.
Cred – US$780 million
Founded in 2018, Cred is the developer of a credit card payment application that rewards users who pay their credit card bills on time with offers and discounts on shopping, health services, and other sites.
The platform allows credit card users to manage multiple cards along with an analysis of their credit score. Members with a high Experian or CRIF score are eligible for exclusive rewards upon payment of their credit card bills through the app. Among many of the features in the app are Cred’s credit card spend tracking and management features, which provide users with analysis of their spendings and card usage.
For businesses, Cred offers commerce offerings such as visibility and network services for independent brands to connect with the users on the platform.
Cred also provides lending services through a partnership of IDFC bank and various non-banking financial corporations.
Cred has raised about US$780 million in funding, though some sources claim that number stands above the US$1 billion mark. Its latest round was a US$80 million Series F secured in June 2022, which the company said it would use to expand its business and for future growth. Cred is valued at US$6.4 billion, according to CB Insights.
BharatPe – US$700 million
Founded in 2018, BharatPe caters to small merchants and business owners, providing them with a range of fintech products including interoperable QR code for UPI payments, BharatSwipe, a point-of-sale (PoS) machine, for card acceptance, small business financing, as well as buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions.
BharatPe is currently serving more than 7.5 million merchants in more than 140 cities and claims to process over 110 million UPI transactions per month, according to the company website. The company claims a network of more than 50,000 PoS machines deployed, and says it has disbursed loans worth US$374 million to more than 300,000 merchants since its launch.
According to data from CB Insights, Dealroom and StartupTalky, BharatPe has raised about US$700 million in funding. The company closed a US$370 million funding round in August 2021, giving it a valuation of US$2.85 billion.
Navi Technologies – US$582 million
Navi Technologies is a financial services company that operates in the space of digital lending, home loans, mutual funds, health insurance and micro-loans.
Founded in 2018, Navie Technologies started with digital lending and has served over 150,000 customers with its wholly-owned NBFC subsidiary Navi Finserv. In only three months post launch, Navi Finserv became one of the largest lending apps in the country, the company claims.
Shortly after, Navi Technologies launched Navi General Insurance and an health insurance app. The service guarantees cashless claim approvals in under 20 mins with over 10,000+ hospitals in India.
Navi Technologies has also ventured into micro-financing through its wholly-owned business Chaitanya India. Chaitanya India is a microfinance institution that ends to women, primarily in rural areas. It claims to have served over 500,000 customers across eight states.
Navi Technologies has received US$582 million in over five rounds of financing, according to StartupTalky. The company’s IPO was cleared by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in September 2022. It plans to raise US$440 million.
Digit Insurance – US$540 million
Founded in 2016, Digit Insurance is an insurtech startup that offers more than 50 products under motor, health, travel, property, marine, liability, and other insurance lines. The company uses technology to simplify processes for their customers, providing users with the ability to self-inspect, claim submissions and process service requests from their smartphones.
Digit Insurance says it has served more than 30 million people since inception, and claims it managed to increase its market share from 1.22% in fiscal 2021 to 2.12% fiscal 2022. In fiscal 2022, the company posted a revenue of INR 52.68 billion (US$646 million), representing an annual growth of 52.9% since fiscal 2020.
Digit Insurance has raised about US$540 million in funding, according to news reports as well as Dealroom and StartupTalky data. Its latest round was a US$70 million investment secured in January 2022. Valued at US$4 billion, according to CB Insights, the company filed in August 2022 for an IPO, looking to raise about US$440 million.
Acko General Insurance – US$450 million
Founded in 2016, Acko General Insurance is one of India’s first digital-native insurers and a pioneer in the direct-to-consumer auto insurance space.
The company is one of the market leaders in embedded insurance products like mobility and gadget insurance across large digital consumer platforms including Amazon, MakeMyTrip, Ola, Urban Company, Bajaj Finance and others. In addition, it covers nearly a million gig workers in the country through partnerships with companies including Zomato and Swiggy, with bespoke coverage.
In 2020, Acko General Insurance entered the significantly underpenetrated health insurance vertical with a differentiated proposition focused on the employer-employee market.
The company has raised US$450 million in funding so far, its last round being a US$255 million Series D investment secured in October 2021. It’s now close to raising US$100-150 million from new and existing investors, two people aware of the development told Livemint earlier this month.
Acko General Insurance is valued at US$1.1 billion, according to CB Insights.
Groww –US$390 million
Founded in 2016, Groww is a neobroker that allows Indian retail investors to invest in mutual funds, stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and IPOs.
The company’s platform started in 2017 as a direct mutual fund distribution platform and within a year became one of the most popular mutual fund investment platforms in the country. Following user demand, Groww added stocks in the early half of 2020 and the same year launched digital gold, ETFs, intraday trading and IPOs in quick succession.
Today, the company claims more than 40 million users across India, making it one of the fastest-growing investment platforms in the country.
Groww has raised more than US$390 million in funding, according to data from CB Insights, Dealroom and StartupTalky. Its latest round was a US$251 million Series E secured in October 2021. The company is valued at US$3 billion, according to CB Insights.
Featured image credit: edited from Pexels