Groww, an online investment platform that sells mutual fund products, has raised $21.4 million (Rs 152.5 crore at current exchange rate) in a Series B funding round led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Ribbit Capital.
In a statement, Bengaluru-based Groww said existing investors Sequoia India and Y Combinator also participated in the funding round.
The platform, owned and operated by Billionbrains Garage Ventures Pvt. Ltd, said it will use the funding for talent acquisition in its engineering, product and growth teams, with an aim to grow its overall staff to at least 200 people.
Groww said it will also use a significant portion of the capital to enhance its technological infrastructure to scale up its investment platform.
Co-founder and chief executive Lalit Keshre said the company’s aim was to democratise financial services in India. “This round brings one of the best fintech investors to partner with us,” Keshre added.
Ribbit Capital founder Micky Malka said the firm was confident about its investment because of Groww’s potential in creating a category-defining product. Sequoia Capital India principal Ashish Agarwal said that Groww had managed to differentiate itself by providing a low-cost seamless investing experience to customers.
The Series B fundraise comes after the company raised $6.2 million (Rs 44 crore) in its Series A round, which was led by Sequoia Capital India, as reported by VCCircle in January 2019.
Groww was founded in 2017 by Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh and Ishan Bansal, all former Flipkart employees. The company claims to have over 2.5 million users across India. It lets its users invest in mutual funds on a commission-free basis via its online platform and mobile application.
Last year in July, Groww raised $1.6 million (Rs 11 crore then) in a pre-Series A round led by Insignia Ventures Partners, Lightbridge Partners and Kairos, along with CureFit founders Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, its existing backers.
Prior to this, the company raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Bansal and Nagori, and Y Combinator.
Deals in the fintech segment
There has been steady investor interest in the financial technology segment, as companies seek to address the growing need for last-mile delivery of financial services and provide value-added services to consumers across all socio-economic segments.
Earlier this month, NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd, a small and medium-enterprises-focused fintech lender, raised $17 million (Rs 120.8 crore) in debt financing from France’s Proparco SA. Similarly, online peer-to-peer lending platform LenDenClub raised $1 million (around Rs 7.16 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Artha Venture Fund.
In August, United States-based investment firm Tiger Global Management invested $15 million (around Rs 107.88 crore) in INDwealth, an artificial intelligence-based wealth management venture led by Ashish Kashyap, the founder of Ibibo.