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Neo-banking startup, Open, to raise more funding

Funding taps are now open for a host of ventures from banking to used car sales and supply chain management firms

May 14, 2019, 08.17 AM IST
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The company helps small merchants automate bulk payments and manage financial operations digitally.
BENGALURU: New-age digital banking platform Open is in talks to raise Series-B funding led by New York-based investment firm Tiger Global Management and Apoletto Asia, the personal investment vehicle of DST Global’s partners, according to two people in the know of the matter.

Open may receive $50-60 million, with at least $30 million being pumped in by Tiger Global, which has been on an investment spree in India over the past few months. “The talks are in final stages and the due diligence is currently ongoing. The deal could close within a week or 10 days,” said one of the sources on condition of anonymity. “The investors could pick up close to 25% in the company through this round,” another source said. The round could value the company at $150 million.

In February, Open raised Rs 32.4 crore at a valuation of Rs 132.4 crore, led by BeeNext, along with 3one4 Capital and Speedinvest, regulatory filings show. While Tiger Global did not offer a comment on the story, emails to Apoletto Asia and Open did not elicit a response.

Open is a neo-banking startup that offers a technology layer over traditional banking products, enabling customers to access banking services through their mobile phones. Many payment gateway startups such as Razorpay and Instamojo are also exploring opportunities in this space.

The company helps small merchants automate bulk payments and manage financial operations digitally. It works with major lenders such as ICICI Bank to offer the entire range of business banking solutions to small merchants. “The business has been growing exponentially over the last few months, both in terms of adoption and retention numbers for SMEs,” said an investor in the know of the company’s financials. “It’s a white space, and the intention with the large round is to capture this SME audience before competition gets in and dumps capital,” he added.

Open, founded by former Citrus Pay staff Anish Achuthan and Mabel Chacko in 2017, has raised capital from prominent startup entrepreneurs such as Citrus cofounders Jitendra Gupta and Amrish Rau and TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishnan.

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