Indian fintech startup Zeta valued at $300m in Sodexo-led Series C

Zeta co-founder and CTO Ramki Gaddipati (left) and co-founder and CEO Bhavin Turakhia.

Bengaluru-based fintech platform Zeta, which offers employee expense management, corporate gifting and co-branded debit and credit cards, has raised an undisclosed amount in its Series C round led by France-based Sodexo, valuing the four-year-old startup at over $300 million, according to a company statement on Tuesday.

With this new capital, Zeta will look at expanding its business across 15 countries including the US, the UK, in Europe and in Southeast Asia. Until now, Zeta has been self-funded by co-founders. With this investment, Sodexo will have a minority stake in the company. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Zeta in the entire investment process.

Co-founded in 2015 by Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati, Zeta provides a full-stack neo-banking platform to enterprises, allowing them to issue co-branded debit, credit, and prepaid products to employees. Zeta has partnerships with banks such as RBL Bank, IDFC First Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and others who issue cards and credit products on their behalf to enterprise clients.

Zeta also offers a digital platform to enterprises for managing employee benefits and allowances, and a corporate gifting platform as well. Till date, Zeta has over 14,000 corporate clients and around 1.9 million users making at least 1 million transactions a day across its platform.

“Zeta is predominantly in the business of providing a platform for bank and issuers to create and issue payment products…and these products are not going to be defined by us. More importantly, Zeta supports every payment channel. If you get issued a Zeta card from your corporate, you can use that on POS machines, online, NFC, online payments, UPI etc. And the idea is that whoever is the beneficiary (cardholder or user), he or she can use it as per their convenience. The card is nothing but one of many instruments that help facilitate the usage of funds inside your account,” said Bhavin Thurakia, chief executive officer of Zeta in an interview.

Thurakia said a greater part of Zeta’s future business will come from its neo banking platform, which allows enterprises to issue payment products including prepaid cards, debit and credit cards. However, Thurakia mentioned that Zeta would “never get into the business of formal lending”. “We will only work with banks and issuers to reach out to prospective customers, who in our case are primarily corporate users,” he added.

“The (Zeta) platform enables creation of tailor-made consumer experiences and scales to billions of transactions per day. This investment will also allow us to enhance our capabilities in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics so that we can offer better services with more actionable information to our clients and users,” said Gaddipati, chief technology officer, Zeta.

Zeta currently provides its platform and products to corporate entities in India, Asia, and Latin America. It competes with other enterprise-focused fintech startups like NiYo which had raised $35 million in June in a Series B funding round from Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures, China’s Tencent Holdings and existing investor JS Capital.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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.