[Funding alert] Fintech startup Uni raises $18.5M from Lightspeed India Partners and Accel India
Fintech startup Uni has raised $18.5 million by Lightspeed India Partners and Accel India, in one of the largest seed rounds.
Still in stealth mode, Uni is co-founded by Nitin Gupta, Co-founder PayU India and former CEO of Ola Financial Services, and has roped in Prateek Jindal as the co-founder. Prior to starting up with Nitin, Prateek had built Ola Money Postpaid. The duo is also joined by Laxmikant Vyas, who has been head of risk for EMI cards business and was the head of data science at Bajaj Finance.
The business model of Uni is new-age credit cards for the digital generation. The purpose of the fund raise is to build a team and once the product is launched, it will be used for marketing and working capital.
Nitin Gupta, Founder and CEO, Uni said, “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. There is an opportunity to expand the market from 58 million credit cards in India today to 200 million credit cards over the next five years by building new products, catering to underserved customer needs and getting new customer segments.”
Nitin has built and scaled PayU India for five years until 2016, and it was valued at $500 million at his exit. He went onto build Ola Financial Services and was instrumental in focussing on the different financial services business of the ride-hailing giant.
Ola Financial Services was valued at $250 million late last year — within two years of Nitin being at its helm — said the press statement.
Bejul Somaia, Partner, Lightspeed India Partners added in the press statement, “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.”
With Uni, the team aims to bridge the gap for credit cards and make them more accessible for people across different regions. The team believes that the credit card market is still under-penetrated in India.
The startup claims that there are just 34 million credit card users having 58 million credit cards whereas there are more than 100 million Indians today who pay digitally and electronically. Focused on filling this gap, Uni will aim to target the ecommerce and internet-savvy generation in India who are looking at leading aspirational lifestyles.
Prayank Swaroop, Partner, Accel India shared, “Credit cards is a very large and exciting market. It has over $100 billion in annual spends and still, less than 2.5 percent of the Indian population has a credit card today. The opportunity in front of us is truly immense.”
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta