Fintech startup Zeta, which is promoted by techpreneur Bhavin Turakhia and offers digital employee solutions, said on Tuesday it has raised funding from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards (BRS) at a valuation of $300 million (Rs 2,070 crore).
Sodexo has picked up a minority stake in Zeta as part of the deal. The investment amount stands undisclosed
The firm termed it as a Series C round although this is its first known external funding round, as per VCCEdge, the data research platform of Mosaic Digital, the banner behind VCCircle.
With this new capital, Zeta will look at expanding its business in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and SouthEast Asia.
Turakhia, co-founder and CEO of Zeta, said: “Today’s banking and fintech ecosystem requires cloud-native, privacy-aware, inherently secure, API first banking and payment solutions. The United States will be one of the most important markets for us, and we have already started hiring a senior leadership team who will drive the business in the country.”
He added that Zeta will be expanding operations in over 15 countries in the next two years.
“Sodexo has been a strategic partner of Zeta since 2017,” said Aurelien Sonet, CEO of Sodexo BRS. “This investment will enable the Sodexo group to benefit from Zeta’s seamless payment experience and offer a comprehensive suite of solutions to our consumers.”
He said that Zeta and Sodexo are already working together on deploying Zeta’s platform across several Sodexo subsidiaries across different regions.
Operated by Better World Technology Pvt. Ltd, Zeta was founded in April 2015 by Turakhia and Directi Group colleague Ramki Gaddipati.
Bhavin's brother Divyank had hit the big league in August 2016 by selling ad-tech company Media.net to a consortium of Chinese companies for $900 million.
In 2014, Endurance International Group, a provider of cloud-based SMB solutions, had acquired the brothers' flagship firm Directi group’s four businesses for $160 million.
Both the companies made for big exits for the founders without any external funding in between. Zeta’s external funding, even though from a strategic investor, marks a break from the past playbook.
Mumbai-headquartered Zeta offers digitised employee benefits, rewards and expense management. In 2016, Zeta had launched a cloud-based suite called Optima that offers digitised meal vouchers, fuel and travel card, medical reimbursements and gift cards, among others.
It says it offers a full stack cloud native neo-banking platform for issuance of credit, debit and prepaid products that enables legacy banks and new age fintech institutions to launch retail and corporate fintech products. It also offers an enterprise solution for corporates such as automated cafeteria, employee gifting & R&R.
It claims that today over 14,000 corporate clients and 1.9+ million users use Zeta’s employee benefits and corporate gifting platform. Zeta has built partnerships with firms like Sodexo, RBL Bank, IDFC First Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and others.
In the past, Zeta has itself backed other startups. It picked up a minority stake in Gurugram-headquartered PeopleStrong HR Services Pvt. Ltd last year.
Previously, it had made an undisclosed equity investment for a small stake in ZingHR, a cloud-based employee management platform that leverages technologies such as machine learning in recruitment, HR analytics, geo-fencing, geo-tagging and Aadhaar-based digital on-boarding.