Better Capital leads pre-seed funding round in neo-bank Walrus
L-to-R: Walrus Founders, Nakul, Bhagaban Behera and Sriharsha

Walrus Labs Pvt. Ltd, which operates an eponymous neo-banking platform primarily aimed at teenagers, has raised a pre-seed funding in a round led by early-stage venture firm Better Capital.

Other investors in the round include Myntra co-founder Raveen Sastry and Taxiforsure founder Raghunandan G, Bengaluru-based Walrus said in a statement. It didn’t disclose the amount it raised.

Walrus was set up last year by Bhagaban Behera, Sriharsha Setty and Nakul Kelkar. The company says its products are aimed at consumers between the ages of 13 and 22. The platform helps its users to develop smart financial habits and allows parents to set goals such as savings amounts and systematic investment plans.

The company will use the capital it has raised to enhance product development and features, and grow its team.

“In a very competitive, fast-paced world, one should be taught how to calculate taxes, how to budget expenses, invest and plan for finances earlier than later,” Behera said. “We allow parents to educate and financially support their children in their first steps using a digital financial product.”

Walrus says it is also building out a community, ‘Club Walrus’, which will allow users of its platform to network and learn concepts such as entrepreneurship, product building and digital marketing.

The startup is the latest in the fast-growing neo-banking segment to gain investor attention. In April, Jitendra Gupta-founded Jupiter raised $2 million (around Rs 15 crore) in a top-up funding round from British venture capital firm Hummingbird Ventures and United States-based Bedrock Capital.

Entellus Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates enterprise-focussed neo-banking platform Nupay, raised funding in a seed investment round led by startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts in January.

In the same month, EpiFi Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised $13.2 million in seed funding at a valuation of around $50 million from investors such as Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and Hillhouse Capital.

In December, informal sector-focused neo-bank Kaleidofin raised around $5 million in Series A funding led by financial inclusion-focused social impact investor Oikocredit.

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