HDFC Bank, India’s largest private-sector bank, has picked up a minority stake in smallcase Technologies Pvt Ltd, a financial-technology startup focussed on capital markets and related infrastructure.
In a statement, Bengaluru-based smallcase said the transaction is part of its Series B fundraising round. It did not disclose the quantum of HDFC Bank’s investment or the size of the stake the lender picked up.
In September this year, the company raised $14 million (around Rs 103 crore) in its Series B exercise. The round was led by asset management group DSP.
Other investors that participated included existing backers such as Sequoia Capital India, Blume Ventures, Beenext and WEH Ventures. Arkam Ventures and angel backers also took part in the round.
“With a unique model, smallcase is well positioned to create a niche in the capital markets in India and also help expand the market,” HDFC Bank executive Smita Bhagat said. Bhagat is the bank’s country head for government and institutional business, e-commerce and startups unit.
Separately, smallcase co-founder and CEO Vasanth Kamath said the investment by HDFC Bank will help the company accelerate the building of infrastructure and platforms for Indian markets.
Smallcase was set up in 2015 by Kamath, Rohan Gupta and Anugarh Shrivastava. All three are graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and have worked with companies such as Goldman Sachs and Nomura.
It works with brokerages and investment advisers to offer ‘smallcases’, which are portfolios of stocks or exchange-traded funds. Its platform is integrated with brokers including Zerodha, HDFC Securities, Kotak Securities, 5Paisa and Axis Direct.
In February last year, the company raised $8 million in a Sequoia-led Series A funding round. Blume Ventures, Straddle Capital, Beenext, WEH Ventures and DSP Adiko had also participated in that round.