Bengaluru-based Open, which automates collections and payouts for small businesses, said it has raised pre-Series A funds in a round led by Unicorn India Ventures and Japan’s Recruit Group.
Existing investors ISME-ACE (fin-tech accelerator programme) and Vaibhav Domkundwar’s BetterCapital AngelList syndicate also participated in the round.
The proceeds raised will be used for getting on board 200,000 small businesses as well as launching new products on lending and wealth management using artificial intelligence and financial analytics.
Open, run by Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd, offers cash flow management and accounting automation for small businesses, in partnership with seven banks.
Open also offers application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers to integrate banking and payments into their business workflows. API is a set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications.
The startup was founded by serial entrepreneurs Anish Achuthan and wife Mabel Chacko in 2016. Their previous digital payments venture, Zwitch, was acquired by digital payments firm CitrusPay in September 2015. Following the acquisition, Achuthan joined CitrusPay as vice-president of new initiatives and business head while Chacko headed the firm's digital marketing. In 2016, they quit CitrusPay to found Open.
In July 2017, Open raised $250,000 from PayU India CEO Amrish Rau and managing director Jitendra Gupta.
In November 2017, Open appointed former TaxiForSure chief financial officer Deena Jacob as CFO and head of revenue and growth.
Unicorn India Ventures
Unicorn India Ventures was founded in early 2015 by Anil Joshi and Bhaskar Majumdar. The Mumbai-based venture capital firm invests in early-stage startups belonging to consumer, enterprise, healthcare, deep technology and other sectors.
The firm has already announced investments in 15 startups including GenRobotic, SectorQube, Perfectfit, Boxx.ai, Sequretek, SmartCoin, GrabonRent, Inc42, NeuroEquilibrium, VLCC VanityCube, Roder, and Pharmarack.
In November last year, Unicorn launched its maiden debt fund with a target corpus of $93 million (Rs 600 crore). The fund will look to invest in 10 ventures in a year, with an average ticket size of Rs 20 crore ($3.5 million).