BharatPe joins the unicorn club, raising $370 million at a $2.85 billion value

As the investment frenzy in India’s startup environment continues, BharatPe, a startup that provides merchant payments solutions and other financial services, said that it has secured $370 million in its Series E round led by Tiger Global, making it the latest admission to the unicorn club.

BharatPe is now valued at $2.85 billion, making it the 19th Indian firm to become a ‘unicorn’ this year. A ‘unicorn’ is a word used to describe privately valued enterprises with a valuation of more than $1 billion dollars.

Dragoneer Investor Group, Steadfast Capital, Sequoia Capital, Insight Partners, Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital, and Amplo were among the other investors in the round.

BharatPe had a market capitalization of almost $900 million just nine months ago. The secondary component of the $370 million is $20 million, allowing its angel investors and staff to cash out. The money will be used to expand the company’s primary operations as well as capitalise the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gave Centrum Financial Services Limited and BharatPe “in-principle clearance” to build up a small finance bank (SFB) on June 18, clearing the path for the firm to take over the crisis-hit PMC Bank.

Ashneer Grover, a co-founder of BharatPe, had stated at the time that his main priority was to get the bank up and running, and that he hoped to do it by the fourth quarter of calendar year 2021. BharatPe and Centrum would invest $250-$300 million over the next two years as part of this.

At a time when the competition for talent is heating up in the startup ecosystem, Ashneer created a stir by announcing that BharatPe would give out BMW superbikes and a workcation in Dubai to entice engineers.

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