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Falcon Edge, Lightspeed lead Series A funding in fintech startup Setu
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Setu, a fintech application programming interface (API) infrastructure startup, said it has raised $15 million (Rs 113.7 crore) as part of its Series A funding round led by Falcon Edge and Lightspeed Venture Partners US.

Nikhil Kumar, co-founder at Setu, said in a blogpost that existing investors Lightspeed India Partners and Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund also participated in the funding round.

The Bengaluru-based startup will use the fresh capital to strengthen its team, launch new products and upgrade its technology.

Setu had raised its previous funding from its existing investor Lightspeed India Partners in April last year.  

Setu, operated by BrokenTusk Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded by Sahil Kini and Kumar in 2018. Kini is a former principal at social impact investment firm Aspada Investments, while Kumar is a fellow at a technology think tank iSPIRT Foundation.

Kumar also worked with iSPIRT-founded India Stack, a term used for a set of APIs that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilise a unique digital infrastructure to solve India-specific problems.

The startup offers open APIs across four categories -- bills, savings, credit, and payments. A developer can access Setu's sandbox to build an application but has to go through a rigorous developer certification programme to go live. This makes it easy for all companies to plug-and-play financial services, rather than spend significant effort and time for one-off integrations.

Setu's recently launched product -- Collect -- is an API bundle designed for developers to build their custom collections product. For instance, lending collection companies are using the product to build an omnichannel collections stack for banks and NBFCs.

“We at Falcon Edge believe strongly in the theme of rising financial penetration and inclusion in India. Setu stands at the forefront of this theme,” Navroz Udwadia, managing partner at Falcon Edge, said.

Investors

Founded in 2012 by Udwadia, Richard Gerson, and Ryan Khoury, Falcon Edge Capital manages more than $2 billion in assets globally. Companies in its portfolio include Ola, Dailyhunt, Stanza Living and KhataBook.

In January, VCCircle exclusively reported that the fund had marked its final close. The firm has already deployed $100 million via its India Disruption Partners entity.

Falcon Edge Capital had also secured $300 million (approximately Rs 2,142.52 crore at current exchange rates) for a new India-focussed venture capital fund, Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI), The Economic Times reported in February.

Lightspeed has its India-dedicated fund. It had raised its second India-dedicated fund of $175 million in 2018 after launching its debut India fund in 2015. The venture capital firm, however, continues to make investments in the country from its global fund as well.

Earlier this week, Lightspeed Venture Partners raised over $4 billion across three of its funds to support early-stage startups and existing portfolio companies.

Some of Lightspeed's recent bets include e-sports streaming and community platform Rheo, conversational artificial intelligence platform Yellow Messenger and smart dialing app QTalk.

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