Indian fintech Slice tops $1.5 billion valuation in new funding to scale UPI payments – TechCrunch

Indian fintech Slice tops $1.5 billion valuation in new funding to scale UPI payments – TechCrunch

Slice, a fintech startup that is bringing credit card features to millions of Indians, has raised $50 million in a new financing round as it looks to scale its recently launched UPI payments product and push to make its core credit business profitable.

Tiger Global led the Bengaluru-headquartered startup’s Series C financing round, which according to a source familiar with the matter, values Slice between $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion. Slice entered the unicorn club in a round in November last year.

The new round also saw participation from GMO Venture Partners and existing backers Insight Partners and Moore Strategic Ventures. Slice is engaging with additional investors to raise another $100 million, the source said, requesting anonymity as the details are private.

TechCrunch reported earlier this year that Slice was in talks to raise a new financing round. The startup declined to comment Thursday on its valuation and talks for additional top up in the current round.

Launched in 2019, Slice offers credit card features including rewards with various popular merchants and flexible payment options to over 12 million Indians.

Nearly 1 billion Indians have bank accounts but most of them are not eligible for several basic services such as credit. Credit bureaus in India have data of only a fraction of the nation’s 1.4 billion population.

Slice is among a group of startups that is increasingly broadening the market for who all can get a card by using modern underwriting systems. It is issuing between 300,000 to 400,000 cards a month, according to a source familiar with the matter, a figure that makes it one of the top card firms in the South Asian market.

“Slice is leading the way for innovation, customer experience, and growth in India’s rapidly developing payments market. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Rajan and his team as they improve and expand payment products with the goal of making money more relatable for the consumer,” said Alex Cook, Partner at Tiger Global, in a statement.

Some of Slice’s marquee features are a 2% cashback on card spendings and a buy now, pay later offering with merchants such as Amazon and MakeMyTrip, where customers get the ability to pay for their purchases over a course of a few months at no additional charge.

“We have really struck a chord culturally with millennials and Gen Zs nationwide in the last couple of years,” said Rajan Bajaj, founder and chief executive of Slice, in a statement.

The startup is now broadening its offerings. Last month it launched support for UPI, a payments railroad that has become the most popular way Indians transact online. By adding UPI, Slice is looking to drive engagement by giving users more reasons to use its eponymous app for their daily spendings.

Bajaj (pictured above) said the UPI product is already “gaining strong early traction.”

“With the significant growth in wallet share of Slice card, it became increasingly clear that our customers would love to use Slice for all their payment needs. Driving on that, we made our next important product launch with UPI which has been gaining strong early traction. We are excited about the long journey that lies ahead of us. It’s our north star to create a world class consumer payments product out of India,” he said.

The startup also said that it is working to turn its credit business profitable in the coming months.

Indian fintech Slice tops $1.5 billion valuation in new funding to scale UPI payments