Fintech startup Slice has become India’s latest unicorn after it raised $220 million at a valuation of over $1 billion.
This capital-raising was done as part of Slice’s Series B funding round led by Tiger Global and Insight Partners which are investments firms based in New York.
There were also other investors participating in the funding round, including Sunley House Capital, Anfa, Gunosy, Blume Ventures and more.
Slice has become the 41st Indian startup to achieve unicorn status this year and the 11th fintech startup to achieve it.
They plan to use the funds raised to grow their existing lines of business, invest in newer products and also grow its engineering and design functions. They also plan to fund their non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm and scale their loan book.
Users of Slice can pay bills, manage expense and unlock rewards. The target demographics are new-age millennials and Gen Z, with an average age of 27, as they have largely been refused credit cards by large banks due to inadequate credit scores that are common among this demographic.
The company has issued credit and payment cards, ‘Slice Super Card’, with Visa and SBM Bank India Ltd, that allows users to build credit scores and win rewards and discounts from payments.
“At Slice, we believe that we have built a solid business model and will focus our energies now into growing and scaling the platform. We have been prudent with our business so far and burnt $4.5 million (in capital) over five years. A part of the capital from this fundraise will be invested in our NBFC, as we need to have our own skin in the game, rather than raising debt alone. The remainder will be utilized towards launching new products and scaling the team,” Rajan Bajaj, founder and chief executive officer at Slice, said in an interview.
Bajaj also said that Slice is working on introducing unified payments interface (UPI)-based payments on its app, besides credit card issuances.
For this year alone, the company has increased their monthly credit card issuances tenfold, from 20,000 cards in January to almost 200,000 cards in October.
The credit line on the cards range from 2000 to 10 lakh. They have almost 5 million registered users on the app.
The company has states that new card issuances and users are growing 40% every month. They are also recording an annual revenue run rate of $60 million.
“Slice has built a product that customers love, which we expect will result in the continued growth and market share gains. We are excited to partner with Rajan and the team as they expand access to credit and deliver best-in-class customer experience,” said Alex Cook, partner at Tiger Global.
Slice also has plans to introduce newer products related to wealth management and commerce although they did not give any specific timelines.
“Slice targets an under-penetrated market in India and seamlessly allows users to make online payments, pay bills and more. There is a large opportunity in the credit and payment space in India, and Slice is well-positioned o become the leader in the industry. We look forward to this partnership with Slice as they continue to scale up and grow,” said Deven Parekh, managing director at Insight Partners.