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BharatPe’s war chest just got bigger with an additional $108 million

BharatPe has raised $108 milion as part of its Series D funding round, pegging its value at $900 million just short of the coveted unicorn status, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The company has raised a total of $233 million through equity and $35 million in debt capital till date, it said.

BharatPe’s war chest has got much bigger with this funding round as it plans to grow its merchant acceptance network and leapfrog its journey from a payments app to a full-fledged bank by acquiring the delinquent Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, through a joint-venture partnership with the Centrum Group. Earlier last month it raised around $35 million in debt funding,

The Series D round was led by Coatue Management with other investors Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo and Sequoia Capital also participating. It raised $90 million primary capital and ensured exit worth $18 million for its angel investors and employees, the company said.

“We are super excited to have returned Rs 125 crore of capital to angels and employee stock ownership plan holders, earning them one of the highest returns on investment. The team is committed to make money for all stakeholders – investors, lenders, borrowers, employees and banks. With the balance sheet well capitalized (more than US$ 200M in bank), we are now going to keep our heads down and deliver $30 billion Annual total payment value and build a loan book of $ 700mn with small merchants by March 2023,” Ashneer Grover, co-founder and chief executive officer, BharatPe said in a statement.

“2020 has been an unprecedented year for all. However, we at BharatPe have grown exponentially – our payments business has grown 5x and our lending business has grown 10x in the last 12 months. This growth reiterates the trust that the small merchants and kirana store owners have showed in us. This is just the beginning of our journey and we are committed to build India’s largest B2B financial services company that can serve as one-stop destination for small merchants. For BharatPe, merchants will always be at the core of everything we build.”Ashneer Grover

Earlier last month, Grover said that the company aims to become a Digital Bank that is the one-stop destination for merchants for all kinds of financial services and this tranche of funds will get things rolling.

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The company has over 5 million merchants and has processed an average of over 6 crore transactions on the Unified Payments Interface a month. BharatPe’s was recently valued at $500 million and has a user base of over 5 million merchants. It has a lending platform, which has grown significantly over the past year, from disbursing around ₹10-12 crores a month in January to ₹100 crores in October. It provides Rs 200 crore worth of loans every month to merchants and has deployed 50,000 Point-of-Sale machines across 75 cities in the country, which processes more than Rs 900 crore worth of transactions every month, it said.

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