Fintech unicorn BharatPe has launched an investment platform for its merchant partners which will enable RBI-regulated entities to market their investment products to over eight million BharatPe merchants across the country.
In the first phase, the company will go live with peer-to-peer (P2P) investments and bank deposit products with its partners on the platform. Currently, P2P investment products are powered through RBI-regulated non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) - LenDenClub and Liquiloans. It is also working on providing its merchants an option to invest in fixed deposits by Unity Small Finance Bank and earn assured returns from the bank, the statement added.
The statement also mentioned that BharatPe merchants would be able to access the investment platform on the BharatPe app. The investment offerings by LenDenClub and Liquiloans will allow the merchants to register as a lender with the P2P platforms and deploy their money against loans on these platforms.
According to the company's statement, BharatPe now aims to facilitate investments for more than 20 lakh merchant partners over the next 12 months through this platform. In the coming months, BharatPe intends to further diversify offerings on the investment platform and offer a range of investment products under a single window, such as mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), among others.
“Over the last 2 years, we have received an overwhelming response to the P2P lending products being offered in partnership with RBI-regulated P2P NBFCs. With the launch of the investment platform, we intend to give our merchants a plethora of investment options to choose from. We are bullish about this category and are confident that this product will add tremendous value to our merchant partners. Our aim is to make BharatPe’s Investment Platform the most sought-after investment vehicle for millions of offline retailers in the country," said Suhail Sameer, chief executive officer of BharatPe.
Founded in 2018, BharatPe allows shop owners to make digital payments through QR codes. It is backed by a host of marquee investors such as Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Beenext, Steadfast Capital, Ribbit Capital, and Steadview Capital, among others.
At present, it is serving over 80 lakh merchants across over 225 cities, processing over 11 crore UPI transactions per month. The fintech has an annualised transaction processed value (TPV) of over $17 billion in payments. In October 2021, the company entered into the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) segment with the launch of postpe.
The company, recently, has come under significant investor and media scrutiny after a tussle between former co-founder Ashneer Grover and the company’s board over alleged misappropriation of funds by the former. Grover later resigned from the company in March.