Serial entrepreneur Nitin Gupta, formerly the cofounder and CEO of PayUMoney and CEO of Ola Financial Services, has raised $18.5 Mn for his stealth mode startup Uni in what is one of the largest seed rounds in India. The funding round was led by venture capital firms Lightspeed India Partners and Accel Partners.
In a career spanning 15 years, Gupta was responsible for starting and scaling PayUMoney to one of the largest payment gateways in India. At Ola Financial Services, Gupta was tasked with managing OlaMoney Wallet and OlaMoney Postpaid, among other financial services products.
Gupta’s new fintech venture Uni is currently in stealth mode and aims to make credit cards more accessible for consumers across different regions. For his new venture, Gupta is joined by Pratik Jindal, who built OlaMoney Postpaid, and Laxmikant Vyas, a former head of data science at Bajaj Finance. Both Jindal and Vyas are cofounders of Uni, along with Gupta.
“Over the last five years, we have witnessed a 3x acceleration of digital and electronic payment platforms, however, the share of credit card payments has fallen drastically,” said Gupta.
“There is an opportunity to expand the market from 58 million credit cards in India today to 200 million credit cards over the next 5 years by building new products, catering to underserved customer needs and getting new customer segments,” he said.
Uni claims that with 100 Mn Indian users who pay digitally and electronically, there is huge potential for the credit cards market, as a class of aspirational Indians who are internet savvy and increasingly shopping online. The company is looking to launch new-age credit cards for the digital generation. The recent funds will help the company in building a team, as well as for marketing and working capital once the company launches its product.
“Nitin and Uni’s team are passionate about unlocking the power of financial services for millions of Indian consumers using new tech-powered solutions. We are excited about their mission and proud to support them from day one,” said Bejul Somaia, partner at Lightspeed India Partners.
Lightspeed is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. In India, the firm counts OYO, BYJU’S, Udaan and ShareChat, among others, in its portfolio.
Accel Partners is a Silicon Valley-headquartered global venture capital firm, with significant investments in Indian startups such as Acko, Cure.fit, Flipkart, Freshworks and Swiggy, among others.
Credit Cards For Targeted Customers
In recent times, both startups, as well as government agencies, have looked to incentivise their target customers to spend more, by offering customised credit cards. In July, Inc42 reported that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) had launched RuPay Credit Cards for small and medium businesses (SMBs) and startups.
The RuPay credit card, launched in collaboration with SBM Bank India and fintech startup EnKash, during the Global Fintech Fest 2020, is meant to help streamline business operations with a 30-day credit period on business purchases, bill payments, travel expenses, automated GST, rental payments, payments to suppliers and online purchase of software, among others.
Startups will be able to manage all corporate payments through the RuPay business card. Further, the card offers variable billing cycles, instant bulk pay-outs, and automation of recurring payments such as rental payments, among other features.
Meanwhile, credit cards to fulfil the working capital needs of startups have also been developed by certain fintech and digital lending players such as Karbon Cards and Razorpay.