Indian fintech Cred  raises $251m in Series E round at a valuation of $4b

CRED founder Kunal Shah. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Cred, the fintech app founded by entrepreneur Kunal Shah, raised $251 million in a Series E round co-led by Tiger Global Management and Falcon Edge Capital at a valuation of $4.01 billion, two people aware of the development said.

The fundraise nearly doubled the Bengaluru-based startup’s valuation from $2.2 billion in April when it raised $215 million.

New investors in the Series E fundraising included London-based Marshall Wace and Steadfast Venture Capital, while existing investors, including DST Global, Insight Partners, Coatue and Sofina, also participated, the people cited above said, requesting anonymity.

A spokesperson for Cred confirmed the fundraising without giving details.

The company plans to use the funds to grow its existing range of products and expand financial services offerings for customers, said one of the people quoted above.

Investor interest in the company, however, remains undiminished, with several entities approaching the company for potential investments at a valuation of $5-6 billion, a third person said on condition of anonymity.

Cred said it has no immediate plans to raise more funding.

“Cred is fortunate to have consistent inbound interest owing to the value created for investors and team. However, the information that Cred is looking to raise another round is wrong,” the company said in an emailed response to Mint’s queries.

Cred was launched in 2018 to help users pay credit card bills easily and earn rewards. It has since expanded to lending through Cred ‘Cash’ and enabled online commerce and brand discovery through its ‘Store’ and ‘Commerce’ platforms.

Currently, Cred ‘Cash’ provides members with an instant line of credit, with interest rates ranging from 12% to 15%, and partners with non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to fund these loans. The platform counts IDFC First Bank among others as its NBFC partners.

The company is also in talks to partner with Japanese financial services provider Credit Saison for its Cred ‘Cash’ offering, the third person said.

Further, the person mentioned above said that the company has facilitated a loan book of 3,000 crore for its partners.

Cred declined to comment on the partnership and the loan book.

In August, Cred launched peer-to-peer lending for members on its platform through the newly-launched Cred ‘Mint’ feature. The feature allows Cred members to lend to other members on the platform at 9% interest.

Its other lines of business include a payment product, Cred Max, which allows credit cardholders to pay rent and school fees for a small transaction fee.

In an August interview, Kunal Shah said Cred ‘Commerce’ had 2,000 brands and 600,000 customers used its ‘Max’ product. The focus was on establishing the right fit for these products, Shah added.

Indian startups are witnessing heightened interest from global and domestic investors this year. In the nine months ended 30 September, equity investments in these startups have crossed a record $24 billion.

Further, fintech continues to be the hottest bet for investors, attracting the most investments. In the nine months through September, investments in Indian fintech companies jumped threefold, with startups raising $4.6 billion, according to estimates by consultant PwC.

This article was first published on livemint.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.