Sabre Partners, Emphasis Ventures, Commerce Ventures and other fintech angel investors also participated in the startup’s Pre-Series A round
The funds will allow the fintech startup to strengthen its service offerings and acquire new talent
The startup earlier raised undisclosed seed funding from EMVC, Rainmatter Capital, Blume Founders Fund, Inflection Point Ventures and marquee angel investors
Bengaluru-based B2B fintech startup CARD91 has secured $13 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Infinity Ventures, Point72 Ventures and Sabre Partners.
The round also saw the participation of Emphasis Ventures (EMVC), Commerce Ventures and other angel investors. The funds will allow the fintech startup to strengthen its service offerings and acquire new talent.
The current round follows the startup’s undisclosed seed funding from EMVC, Rainmatter Capital, Blume Founders Fund, Inflection Point Ventures and marquee angel investors in 2020. The fintech startup has secured a total of $14 Mn so far, a spokesperson told Inc42.
Founded in 2020 by Vineet Saxena, Ajay Pandey and Kush Srivastava, CARD91 offers a plug and play payment issuance infrastructure that helps businesses and banks launch co-branded cards.
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A plug and play solution is an end-to-end solution for businesses that intend to launch their own card programs. Once the program is designed, CARD91 helps them to make the card instrument functional. The businesses can launch without doing any alterations/modifications to their existing systems/ERP with easy integration, the CARD91 team told Inc42.
“Businesses don’t have to go to banks separately for integration/approvals. We take care of everything, thereby enabling companies to launch the card faster,” the spokesperson said.
For businesses, CARD91 has a card issuance platform that manages payment flows from customer onboarding to transaction processing to data reconciliation. For banks, it has an API platform that provides for new-age payment services and card-based lending.
For the uninitiated, API is a software intermediary or a set of functions which allows the building of applications which access features or data of an operating system, application or another service.
CARD91 clients are in the lending space, agritech, edtech, fintech ventures that intend to launch their own card programs for their customers. It would be going live with four clients over the next 30-45 days, the spokesperson confirmed.
The Growth Of Prepaid Cards
As digital payments continue to pick up pace in India, Niti Aayog, in its report titled ‘Digital Payments – Trends, Issues and Opportunities,’ forecasted the online payment industry to grow to $1 Tn by 2023. Further, the Indian prepaid cards market alone is expected to grow by over 35% CAGR from 2021 to 2026 and reach $340 Bn by 2026.
According to Inc42 data, a record $7.9 Bn was raised by Indian fintech startups across 280 deals in 2021, up from $2.16 Bn raised across 139 deals in 2020.
Payments topped the charts in attracting funds, raising over $3.7 Bn or 46% of the year’s fintech funds. The prime factor attributed to ongoing proliferation of the B2B ecommerce market as well as surge in adoption of financial technology.
In the burgeoning card and other fintech infra market, CARD91 competes with the likes of M2P, which enables 200+ businesses to embed financial products in their customer journeys in partnership with banks, and other institutions. In January 2022, M2P raised $56 Mn in Series C1 funding led by venture capital firm Insight Partners with participation from MUFG Innovation Partners.
Other competitors of CARD91 include Locus Ventures-backed Decentro and Lightspeed India-backed Setu.