Established in 2018, BharatPe, India’s payments platform for small merchants, has grown at an impressive rate in terms of customers and technology. It provides a payments platform to 1 million merchants that have adopted BharatPe as their preferred payment method. These merchants are associated with hundreds of payment processing banks, such as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
The technology stack at the backend of BharatPe allows the merchant to accept various forms of digital payments from Credit/Debit Cards, Net Banking to UPI (Unified Payment Interface) without any additional cost. The customer also gets rewards like cash back directly into their bank accounts upon making a payment via BharatPe. Moreover, the company focuses on helping small businesses better manage their finances by providing real-time analytics and insights related to customer behavior.
BharatPe’s technological advancement has enabled it to better serve small business owners while improving customer experience with hassle-free and secure payment options. This article seeks to explore in detail the journey that began two years ago and the exciting potential that lies ahead for this revolutionary start-up.
Overview of BharatPe
BharatPe is an Indian payments technology platform aimed at helping merchants accept digital payments from customers. Founded in 2018, it has aimed to provide a one-stop shop for all digital payments related services to merchants.
Over the years, BharatPe has seen an impressive growth trajectory, recently receiving a Series D round of funding led by Coatue. Let’s take a look at what’s led to the success of this payments technology platform.
BharatPe is a digital payments platform for merchants, established in India in 2018. The company enables merchants to accept Unified Payment Interface (UPI) payments from customers directly from their smartphones. BharatPe is a market leader in the point-of-sale UPI payment acceptance space and serves thousands of small merchants across many cities.
Ashneer Grover founded BharatPe, Shashvat Nakrani and Radhikaia Aggarwal in 2018 to make digital payments simple, reliable and accessible to all Indian Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) retailers. The founders have experience in corporate banking, consumer finance and investments, which has helped them understand the complexities of digitizing financial services while scaling such a high volume business.
Today BharatPe operates across different states, including Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra. From March 2020 – May 2020 alone they onboarded over 500K new merchant endpoints as businesses rapidly pivoted to digital payments during the pandemic lockdown period. BharatPe also stored value on their wallet which users can spend at their partner stores throughout India.
The platform was launched with seed capital raised from RP Global Ventures of former Snapdeal CPO Anand Chandrasekaran beside US based hedge fund Steadview Capital & Lightspeed Ventures India Series A round of funding worth USD 15 million led by Sequoia Capital India and Ribbit Capital with participation from Think Investments, Insignia Ventures Partners & Beenext for its Series B funding round Financing amounting upto USD 50 million.
The company’s vision is to link every offline store with UPI and significantly accelerate cashless transactions within India as well as increase financial inclusion through its product offerings through increased access to credit and capital based services like merchant cashbacks & instant loan disbursement etc., Furthermore it plans on offering other value added services like GST related services, E-KYC solutions, Ecommerce integration etc..
Products and Services
BharatPe is a technology-driven financial services company that creates digital solutions to make India’s offline merchants financially secure and sustainable. Founded in 2018, BharatPe has achieved remarkable growth, helping millions of merchants in India to go digital and create stronger connections with their customers.
Today, BharatPe offers an extensive range of products and services, including UPI payments acceptance infrastructure, merchant onboarding and analytics platform, online merchant lending solutions, and merchant loyalty programs. Through these solutions, BharatPe helps everyday offline merchants become tech-enabled businesses that can accept digital payments effortlessly with minimal setup cost.
The UPI payments service BharatPe allows merchants to securely accept money from their customers through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Additionally, its merchant metrics platform provides various reports that allow merchants to track their financial health accurately. Moreover, its tailored loan offerings empower creditworthy merchants by expanding their capital access for business growth needs. Likewise, its loyalty program rewards customers for ordering from roadside vendors—providing them great value for money.
Overall, BharatPe’s product suite promises to support Indian small businesses and enable them to reach new heights of success. Moreover, to further expand its reach in the country’s digital landscape and revolutionize payment transactions even more effectively across India’s horizon – into Tier-III cities and rural areas – BharatPe plans on launching multiple additional services soon.
BharatPe Valued At $900 Mn After Series D Round Led By Coatue
BharatPe, an Indian payment platform, has been making trends in the payment industry after it raised $75 million in a Series D round led by Coatue, a venture capital firm in the USA. This amount values the company at around $900 million and cements its place as a major player in the Indian financial market.
In this article, let’s look at the growth trajectory that BharatPe has seen in the last few years.
Series A, B and C Funding Rounds
BharatPe has had a hugely impressive growth trajectory, with series A, B, and C funding rounds. The company has raised over $ 127 million across multiple funding rounds since its inception in 2018. The early-stage funding round saw participation from Insight Partners & Ribbit Capital. In contrast, the subsequent rounds have seen high-profile investors such as Sequoia Capital and Coatue enter the fray.
The funds have enabled BharatPe to expand its merchant base – notably within the unorganized retail sector – by offering various merchant-centric solutions. Along with enriching its suite of payments solutions, these investments have been instrumental in building an unparalleled infrastructure to handle transactions in a safe environment. Further enhancing its operations is evidenced by BharatPe’s growing presence across key Indian cities from small towns to metro hubs.
BharatPe has grown significantly due to strategic partnerships over the past two years. From banking and credit/debit card players to having alliances with some of the most prominent online portals, this payment solutions provider has created an unstoppable presence in the market.
BharatPe has partnered with several banks such as HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank to enable its QR code-powered payments solutions. It also engages with popular wallet players – Paytm, MobiKwik, Freecharge and Ola Money to give their users access to BharatPe’s products.
Adding more customer convenience, BharatPe had teamed up with Amazon Pay and PhonePe – Flipkart’s UPI payment app – enabling small merchant payment acceptance. Furthermore, this technology powerhouse had gone a step further by joining hands with retailers across India including Café Coffee Day (CCD), KFC and EasyDay Club, among others.
These partnerships have been pivotal in powering BharatPe’s tremendous growth in such a short period. The company claims that since its launch in May 2018 it has enabled more than 10 million merchants to accept payments through their mobile phones or QR codes which can be scanned from any UPI enabled bank application or wallet or BHIM app from both consumers as well as through ecommerce portals such as Amazon & Swiggy who are now connected to its platform via APIs. Moreover, 40 crore transactions worth Rs 3 lakh crore rupees have been processed using their QR code-based solution till date!
Expansion into New Markets
Expansion into new markets is important in BharatPe’s impressive growth trajectory. To make payment easier for kiranas, small shop owners and even individual merchants across India, the company has extended its payments solutions to 23 states in India. This expansion has enabled the company to spread its reach which will expectedly add around one million offline merchant points to their services. It also plans to increase its footprint by covering almost entire India with teams in over 70 cities and over 1,500 towns.
The mission of BharatPe is to be a one-stop solution for all payment related needs of small businesses across the country – enabling them quick and smooth access to credit, data insights and payment solutions integrated under one umbrella solution while greatly reducing the cost of working-capital finance. In addition, expanding into new markets allows the company to provide merchants with better access measures that save time, labor and money while further streamlining financial management processes.
BharatPe is accepted at 500K+ outlets in select cities & towns and aims to reach 2 million+ businesses by March 2021 with current expansion plans — offering online KYC-based Debit Card Machine installment as well as providing assistance in obtaining digital banking licenses are part of this journey towards success.
Series D Funding Round
BharatPe successfully concluded Series D funds round of ₹385 crores (USD 53 million) in 2020, per filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Beenext, Sequoia Capital India and Ribbit Capital led the round. This brings BharatPe’s total funding raised since its inception to more than ₹800 crores (USD 110 million). The investment further signifies the immense potential of BharatPe’s QR code (UPI) based payments solution and its growing popularity among retailers.
This growth trajectory enhances BharatPe’s ability to fulfill its mission as the ubiquitous payment layer for all merchants and shoppers in India by providing immediate access to credit lines, UPI based loans, etc. With funds raised through Series D round, the company plans to cement its position as one of the primary players in India’s UPI payments arena. BharatPe also plans to utilize the funding towards expanding operations into newer markets while expanding their operations capabilities in existing cities across India.
Moreover, fundraise from Series D shall be utilized towards bolstering technology and product development that can further improve user experience across merchant & consumer-facing services across segments such as product design, data science & analytics, and scaling up their presence in the corresponding SME segment.
Impact of Growth Trajectory
The recent Series D round of funding led by Coatue has valued Indian payments start-up BharatPe at an impressive $900 million. This milestone is a testament to the company’s growth trajectory, which is not just boosting its value but also having far-reaching implications for the payments landscape of the country.
In this article, let us explore what this growth trajectory means for BharatPe and the industry in general.
Increased Reach and Market Share
The impressive growth trajectory of BharatPe is mainly attributed to its increased reach and market share. Undoubtedly, the merchant base and retention has also seen significant growth, but the company’s in-depth market penetration has enabled it to outshine numerous competitors.
Furthermore, by catering to merchants across the country, BharatPe has projected its services internationally. This growing ‘network’ of business relationships underscores the company’s commitment to innovation and expansion into new territories with various products and services.
The years since its inception have seen various milestones including upgrades in technology which help fuel merchant interchangeability. Examples of such features include BharatPe’s Intelligent Payment Switch – a platform that can unify wallets, UPI QR codes as payment options while automating reconciliation operations in real-time. In addition, with constant support from vital stakeholders such as banks, B2B merchants, wallet providers, card networks etc. BharatPe has ensured a prolific mergers & acquisitions division that drives further expansion throughout markets.
Another major factor worth attention is a broad spectrum of customer engagements strategy that helps bridge the gap between customers & the company through diverse PR activities along with building offline presence & retail channel for better effectiveness through Tier 2 & 3 cities enhancing reach & penetration among smaller merchants leading to generation of more revenues for PR strategy events along with creating vibrant rewards programs for customers to move over from local competition having no loyalty system.
All these factors have excelled due to active focus on marketing mix and engagement initiatives, making it easy to drive sales and growth strategies while expanding into newer markets eventually taking control over greater parts at state level and delivering amazing returns in terms of both revenue & profits.
BharatPe’s impressive growth trajectory has been reflected in the company’s valuation. The company has seen improved valuations with each funding round, from its $50 million Series B round in February 2020 to its $85 million Series C round in May 2020 and its $60 million Series D round in March 2021. The most recent funding round saw BharatPe valued at approximately Rs 17,000 crores ($2.3 billion), making it more than three times more valuable than in May 2020.
The massive spike in valuation was described as impressive by experts given the increasingly competitive fintech space. Moreover, thanks to this growth trajectory, the company is now among India’s unicorn tech start-ups and is rapidly expanding into other segments such as ecommerce payments and lending.
In addition to these strategic moves, expanding its customer base will remain a central focus for Bharatpe as it seeks to build on its incredible success story thus far.
Enhanced Brand Reputation
BharatPe has experienced impressive growth since its launch in late 2018, and one of the most significant benefits of the company’s success has been an enhancement to its brand reputation. As a result, BharatPe has solidified its position as a leading player in the payments space, capable of competing with the likes of established payment firms such as PayTM and PhonePe.
The firm has become synonymous with secure payments, instant money transfer, and seamless transactions. Its widespread acceptance by merchants has enhanced customer trust, allowing BharatPe to further its reputation as a reliable option for digital payments. This trust was further bolstered when the company introduced a range of product offerings to simplify online shopping experiences.
The rise in awareness that comes with being a top player in any industry is often referred to as ‘mindshare’, which BharatPe has built through growth and expansion over recent years. Increased familiarity among citizens and satisfactory service delivery has exponentially expanded the brand’s customer base. In addition to upholding customer loyalty via convenient payment processes, BharatPe also offers a range of promotional deals and discounts that demonstrate their commitment to customers’ needs first and foremost.
This combination of secure payments, rewards-based loyalty programs, user-friendly technology solutions backed by quality customer service have made BharatPe’s name synonymous with digital transactions across India today. The company’s success in enhancing their mindshare within India augers well for their continued development going forward into 2021 and beyond.
The growth of BharatPe is a testament to the success of its mission of helping Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) realize the full potential of digital payments. Its innovative approach has helped millions of SME merchants accept payments online and brought convenience and accessibility to thousands of customers across India.
BharatPe is now one of India’s most popular mobile payment apps and has become an important financial service player. With its impressive growth trajectory, BharatPe is well-placed to continue revolutionizing the way payments are made in the country.
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