Indian fintech startup Uni raised 18.5mn in seed funding


An Indian fintech startup, Uni, has raised $18.5 million in its seed funding round by Lightspeed India Partners and Accel Partners.

Co-founded by Nitin Gupta, co-founder and CEO of PayU India and former CEO of Ola financial services, Uni is in stealth mode.

Uni aims to tap into the credit card market in India, which seems to be a bottleneck situation, and make them more accessible for consumers across different regions.

Gupta sees a great opportunity to expand the market in India. He said “Over the last five years, we have witnessed a 3x acceleration of digital and electronic payment platforms, however, the share of credit card payments has fallen drastically. There is an opportunity to expand the market from 58 million credit cards in India today to 200 million credit cards over the next 5 years by building new products, catering to underserved customer needs and getting new customer segments.”

Other co-founders of Uni are Prateek Jindal, who built OlaMoney Postpaid; and Laxmikant Vyas, who was the head of data science at Bajaj Finance Ltd.

The credit card market in India today is still under-penetrated as compared to digital payments, with just 34 million credit card users having 58 million credit cards whereas there are more than 100 million Indians today who pay digitally and electronically. Focused on filling this gap, Uni will aim to target the e-commerce and internet-savvy generation in India who are looking at leading aspirational lifestyles.

In fact, Uni is not the only fintech startup in India to have raised a significant amount of funding from venture capital firms in its stealth mode.

Cred, floated by FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah, had raised $30 million in 2018 even before its formal launch in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital. RTP Global and Ribbit Capital had also invested at the time. Last year, Cred raised $120 million in a new funding round.

Fintech startup INDwealth, launched by travel booking firm Ibibo’s founder Ashish Kashyap, had also raised $30 million from Steadview Capital in its stealth mode in 2018.

Fintech startups have continued to attract investor interest across early and mid-stage levels despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Just last week, Smallcase Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a capital markets-focused financial technology startup, secured $14 million in a Series B round. Last month, Vulcan Capital led seed funding in fintech startup Qapita.

In August, FPL Technologies Pvt. Ltd, founded by three former ICICI Bank executives last year, raised $10 million from new and existing investors in its Series A funding round.

In May, SME-focussed fintech startup Khatabook mobilized $60 million in its Series B funding round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital.

“Credit cards is a very large and exciting market. It has over $100 billion in annual spends and still less than 2.5% of the Indian population has a credit card today. The opportunity in front of us is truly immense,” said Prayank Swaroop, Partner, Accel India.