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PayU, Cred founders bet on startup-focussed fintech Karbon Card
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Karbon Card, a financial technology-based venture that issues corporate cards to Indian startups, has raised $2 million (approximately Rs 14.80 crore at current exchange rates) in seed funding from a clutch of high-profile angel investors.

The investors include Cred founder Kunal Shah, Pine Labs CEO and PayU founder Amrish Rau, and Jitendra Gupta of Jupiter, Karbon Card said in a statement.

The Bengaluru-based company said it will use the funds for product development, operations and market expansion.

Karbon Card was co-founded by Pei-fu Hsieh and Amit Jangir in 2019. The company says it provides an alternative to startups looking for corporate cards, with its products not requiring stringent terms such as personal guarantees and high fixed-deposit collaterals.

“Our vision is to empower all startups to achieve more through a Karbon Card,” Hsieh said.

Jangir added that the company’s platform has received validation from startups such as Cred, Jumbotail and MyGate. Separately, Gupta said he was confident of his investment in Karbon Card because of the massive potential of the segment whose needs it was addressing.

Karbon Card says funded startups with more than Rs 25 lakh in cash can qualify from credit from the firm. It also operates an expense management tool that lets startup founders analyse their company spends and make adjustments to their capital flows accordingly.

The startup says its corporate cards also include reward schemes that are specifically targeted at startups, such as credit for Amazon web services, discounts for services such as MakeMyTrip, Uber and Hubspot.

Deals in early-stage fintech startups

This the latest investment in a startup operating with the fintech tag. Companies in the space are seeking to apply a technological angle to traditional financial products. This has resulted in heavy investor activity as startups go through their growth and customer acquisition phases.

Last month, DotPe Pvt. Ltd raised $8 million (around Rs 56.8 crore) in its seed funding round. The round was led by payments company PayU and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International.

In January, escrow-focussed digital payments platform Escrowffrr raised $150,000 from Inflection Point Ventures, a community of chief financial officers and senior professionals. Other early-stage fintech startups that have raised capital in recent months include neo-banking startup EpiFi, the informal sector-focussed Kaleidofin , and digital banking firm Yelo.

There have been big-ticket deals in the space as well. Late last month, the gold loan-focussed Rupeek Fintech raised $60 million (around Rs 431 crore) in funding from a clutch of investors including GGV Capital and Binny Bansal’s BTB Ventures.

Also, last month, digital payments firm BharatPe raised $75 million (around Rs 538.89 crore) in its Series C funding round led by Coatue Management and Ribbit Capital. Others that participated in that exercise included Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, and Amplo.

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