Cred raises Series C funding; buys back ESOPs worth $1.2 mn
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Dreamplug Technologies, which owns and operates credit card payment platform Cred, has raised $81 million (Rs 591 crore) in a Series C round led by returning investor DST Global.

Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, General Catalyst, Sofina, Coatue and Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet also participated in the round, according to a statement.

The investment was made at a post-money valuation of $806 million (Rs 5,884 crore). According to data from research platform VCCEdge, the fresh capital takes Cred’s overall funding to $230 million.

Mumbai-based Cred last raised funds in August 2019 when it secured $101 million led by Ribbit Capital and Gemini Investments. Other investors in the round were Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Hillhouse Capital, Greenoaks Capital, RTP Global Investments, DF International Private Partners and Anaxa Holding. 

Along with the fresh infusion, the company has bought back employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) shares worth $1.2 million from existing and former employees. In its first ever buyback initiatives, eligible employees were able to sell up to 50% of their vested ESOP shares.

“As we raise funds to support our next phase of growth, it's important to acknowledge the role that employees have played in our success. We are committed to enabling wealth-creation opportunities for them and have allocated 10% of our cap table allocated for ESOPs even at the Series C stage,” Kunal Shah, founder, CRED, said.

Founded by former Freecharge founder Shah in 2018, Cred is a members-only app that lets users pay credit card bills and rewards them in the form of credit coins, which can be redeemed across partner businesses including CureFit, Ixigo, BookMyShow and FreshMenu. This also gives the app an insight into customer spends, which can be used for cross-selling and up-selling products.

According to the company, it has built a 5.9 million member base with a median credit score of 830 in two years and processes 20% of all credit card bill payments in India currently. Cred claims that over 35% of premium credit card holders in India are on the platform today.

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