FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah's Cred gets $450 mn valuation with big cheque

By Joseph Rai

  • 27 Aug 2019
Credit: VCCircle

Fintech firm Cred has raised $120 million (Rs 862 crore) in a new funding round, founder Kunal Shah tweeted.

Shah said the funding will drive Cred’s next phase of growth. “We wish to make credit cards more accessible, feature-rich and deliver more value to our members,” said Shah, who previously co-founded mobile wallet firm FreeCharge.

Shah didn’t give any details of the funding round or the growth plans for Cred, which runs a members-only app that offers rewards for paying credit card bills.

However, according to filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Cred has raised Rs 730.02 crore from a clutch of investors in its Series B funding round.

Ribbit Capital, a fintech-focused global fund, and Gemini Investments, an investment vehicle of Yuri Milner's DST Global, put in Rs 144.62 crore each, the highest amount among the investors.

Sequoia Capital, through its fifth investment vehicle, invested Rs 117 crore. The venture capital firm had also put in $4 million into the company recently. Russian venture capital firm RTP Global and US-based investment firm Tiger Global brought in Rs 103.3 crore each.

The remaining amount was pooled in by Greenoaks Capital Opportunities Fund II LP, DF International Private Partners, HH DTPL Holdings II Ltd and Anxa Holding Pte. Ltd.

The funding was raised at a valuation of around $450 million, according to media reports. This is a substantial jump from the $75 million valuation it commanded in its previous round.

Cred, operated by Bengaluru-based Dreamplug Technologies Pvt. Ltd, had raised $30 million last year even before its formal launch in a funding round led by Sequoia. RTP Global and Ribbit Capital had also invested at the time.

Shah is among a number of Indian entrepreneurs who have launched new ventures for the second time. An MBA dropout from Mumbai’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Shah had set up FreeCharge in August 2010 along with Sandeep Tandon.

The startup was acquired by Snapdeal in April 2015. After the acquisition, FreeCharge continued to be run as an independent entity under Shah's leadership. He, however, left the firm in October 2016. Subsequently in July 2017, Axis Bank acquired FreeCharge.

Fintech deals

The fintech sector in India has attracted considerable attention in recent times with many startups trying to establish themselves in segments such as payments, lending, insurance and personal finance.

On Monday, digital payments firm BharatPe, which services offline retailers and businesses, raised $50 million in its Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital and London-based hedge fund Steadview Capital.

Last week, Tiger Global invested $15 million in INDwealth, an artificial intelligence-based wealth management venture.

In June, Ribbit Capital and Sequoia Capital India led a funding round in Razorpay Software Pvt. Ltd as part of the Bengaluru-based online payment gateway startup's Series C round of investment.

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