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Ribbit, Steadview lead BharatPe\'s Series B funding round
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Digital payments firm BharatPe, which services offline retailers and businesses, has raised $50 million (Rs 358.5 crore) in a new funding round within five months of closing its Series A investment in April, underlining sustained investor interest in the growing fintech market in India.

The Series B investment in BharatPe was led by global fintech investor Ribbit Capital and London-based hedge fund Steadview Capital, BharatPe said in a statement.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Beenext and US-based Insight Partners also participated in the funding round, it added.

The funding will help the company to boost its lending business and consolidate its position in the in QR (quick response) payments offline, said Ashneer Grover, co-founder and chief executive of BharatPe.

BharatPe services offline retailers and businesses with payments, lending, and other financial services. Its full-stack service and networking app for all merchants -- UPI Bahi Khata -- allows them to track payments in real time besides conducting other financial services. The company has operations in 20 cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad. It said it has a network of over 1.45 million merchants on its platform and is targeting over four million.

The company, which is owned by Resilient Innovations Pvt. Ltd, claims it has touched $1 billion annualised annual total payments volume and facilitates over 18 million UPI (Unified Payments Interface) transactions monthly.

BharatPe was founded in April last year by Grover and Shashvat Nakrani. Prior to setting up BharatPe, Grover led new business at PC Jeweller and was the chief financial officer at online grocery firm Grofers, while Nakrani is an engineering graduate from IIT-Delhi, their LinkedIn profiles show.

BharatPe had raised raised $15.5 million (around Rs 107 crore) in a Series A round of funding earlier in April.

The fintech firm had previously raised $2 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital India and Singapore-based venture capital firm Beenext last October. 

The company competes with deep-pocketed digital payments companies Paytm, Flipkart-owned PhonePe and Google Pay.

PhonePe was recently reportedly in talks to raise $1 billion at a valuation of $8-12 billion.

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.

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

Steadview Capital had invested in INDwealth's seed funding round in October last year.

Earlier in June, Ribbit Capital and Sequoia Capital India led the 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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