Fintech unicorn Slice, operated by GaragePrenuers Internet Pvt. Ltd, on Wednesday said it has raised $50 million (Rs 388 crore) in a Series C funding round led by existing investor Tiger Global.
The new round comes just a little over six months after the startup entered the famed unicorn club with a whopping $220 million Series B funding round in November. A unicorn is a startup with a valuation of at least $1 billion.
Slice will use the fresh capital to expand its UPI product that was launched earlier this month. The UPI payments feature will be available to its waiting list of 10 million customers who have not been able to get access to credit yet and its existing millions of customers.
Slice, which started as a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) product in 2016 and pivoted to a card product in 2019, entered a crowded UPI payment market where the likes of Walmart-backed PhonePe and Google Pay have already established themselves. But a proposed rule by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to cap single-payment app processes provides room for more companies to participate in the market.
The startup also plans to launch other payment products such as NFC (near-field communication) in the coming years using the free cash that it generates from its credit product.
Slice allows users to pay bills, manage expenses and unlock rewards. It is focussed on the new age millennial and Gen Z segment, with an average age of 27, that have largely been rejected credit cards by large banks, due to inadequate credit scoring around this demographic.
“We have really struck a chord culturally with millennials and Gen Zs nationwide in the last couple of years. With the significant growth in wallet share of slice card, it became increasingly clear that our customers would love to use slice for all their payment needs," said , Rajan Bajaj, Founder and CEO, Slice, in the statement, adding the UPI product has been gaining strong early tranction.
"We are delighted to continue our partnership with Rajan and his team as they improve and expand payment products with the goal of making money more relatable for the consumer,” said Alex Cook, Partner, Tiger Global.
Slice's new funding round comes amid a liquidity squeeze in the ecosystem that has forced some startups to lay off staff to cut costs in the recent weeks despite having raised significant funding last year.
In an interaction with VCCircle recently, Slice's Bajaj had said that India continues to be a strong destination from both equity and capital markets side although investors are cautious. He had also said that Slice is not looking to lay off any of its employees and that it will continue to hire.