Serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia-led fintech startup Zeta, which helps banks and other fintech startups launch their products, has raised $250 Mn in its Series C funding round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. With this, Zeta has become the latest Indian startup to join the unicorn club. Existing investor Sodexo also participated in the round, which valued the company at $1.45 Bn. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Zeta on the transaction.
Prior to this, Zeta had raised an undisclosed amount in a funding round from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards (BRS), at a valuation of $300 Mn, in July 2019. Notably, the company’s valuation has jumped 4.8X from its last round. Turakhia mentioned that this particular round was a Series C round and the previous round, in 2019, was incorrectly mentioned as Series C. “Officially this is a Series C round and we are issuing Series C shares to Softbank,” he stated.
Zeta was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati. Turakhia has previously founded Directi, Ringo.co, Radix Registry and Flock App. Gaddipati had co-founded Bridle Information and Technology solutions, while he was doing his masters in software systems from BITS Pilani. He has also been associated with Morgan Stanley and Directi.
Zeta offers a cloud-native neo-banking platform for the issuance of credit, debit and prepaid products that enable companies to launch engaging retail and corporate products, besides offering digitised solutions to enterprises such as automated cafeteria billing and more. The solutions are available in India, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Vietnam and Philippines.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, Zeta has 500 employees and claims to be recording 1 Mn transactions per day. The company currently serves more than 14K corporate customers with 2 Mn+ users. It includes 25 fintech firms and 10 banks such as Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, Induslnd Bank, and HDFC Bank.
Part of Zeta’s latest Series D funding will be used to reach out to more clients and increase its headcount. “Banking software is a $300 billion industry globally. Most banks still employ technology which is significantly older than their customers, impacting user experience and engagement,” Munish Varma, a managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a statement.
Zeta is the thirteenth startup to enter the unicorn club in 2021. So far, fintech and ecommerce platform CRED, social commerce startup Meesho, investment tech platform Groww, epharmacy Pharmeasy, social media startup ShareChat and messaging platform Gupshup have joined the club. Notably, Meesho became the first social commerce startup to enter the unicorn club, after raising $300 Mn from SoftBank at a valuation of $2.1 Bn.