FreeCharge co-founder Kunal Shah raises $30 million, to launch new venture
Kunal Shah is planning to start an incubator which would help start-ups in consumer space
Mumbai: Payments company FreeCharge co-founder Kunal Shah has raised $30 million for his upcoming venture from a clutch of investors led by venture capital investor Sequoia Capital, said two people familiar with the development.
“The funding round has been closed. Kunal has raised $30 million to start his new venture which is about to launch very soon. He has raised funds mostly from foreign investors. Sequoia has also invested in his new venture,” one of the two people cited above said, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.
According to the second person cited above, Shah is planning to start an incubator which would help start-ups in consumer space. He too requested anonymity.
Shah, along with Sandeep Tandon, started FreeCharge in 2010. FreeCharge is a digital mobile payments platform which was acquired by online marketplace Snapdeal for $450 million in April 2015. At that time, it was touted as the largest deal for an Indian start-up.
Two years later, in July 2017, Axis Bank Ltd acquired FreeCharge from Snapdeal for Rs385 crore in an all-cash deal. The move gave Axis Bank access to FreeCharge’s 54-million-plus customers, technology, human resources and the branding advantage that comes with an early mover.
FreeCharge, before being acquired by Snapdeal, had secured funding of more than $120 million from various investors including Sequoia Capital, ru-Net, Sofina Capital, San Francisco based fund Valiant Capital and Tyborne Capital Management.
“I am dabbling with multiple ideas and have nothing concrete to talk about at this time,” said Shah.
An email sent to Sequoia wasn’t answered till press time.
Besides being an entrepreneur, Shah is also an active angel investor. He has invested in a number of start-ups including Innov8, a co-working space provider; Gurugram-based used car marketplace Spinny; Zepo, e-commerce enabler for small businesses; online learning platform Unacademy; online business to business marketplace Bharat Bazaar, including many others. Shah has invested in more than 20 start-ups.
Shah’s other previous roles include advisory roles with AngelList, a US-based online platform that brings together start-ups, investors and people seeking jobs in technology start-ups. Shah is also an advisor to the board of Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd (Times Group), according to his LinkedIn profile.
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