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NEW DELHI : Fintech startup Slice is launching UPI payments for its users as its seeks to become a payments first product company from being a credit only product company.

The UPI payments feature will be available to its waiting list of 10 million customers who have not been able to get access to credit yet and its existing millions of customers, Rajan Bajaj, Founder and CEO, Slice, told VCCircle in an interaction.

“With UPI what we have done is from being an exclusive club that Slice is, we’ve made it into an open platform which anyone having a smartphone can use," he added.

Slice, which started as a buy now pay later (BNPL) product in 2016 and pivoted to a card product in 2019, enters a crowded UPI payments market where the likes of Walmart-backed PhonePe and Google Pay have already established themselves. But a proposed rule by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the body that operates the popular UPI payments infrastructure, to cap single payments app processes provides room for more companies to participate in the market.

Slice, operated by GaragePrenuers Internet Pvt. Ltd, will also launch other payment products such as NFC (near-field communication) in the coming years using the free cash flows that it generates from its credit product, said Bajaj.

A person familiar with slice said that the startup is at more than 2000 crore gross transaction value (GTV) allowing the company to enjoy economies of scale because of that.

Bajaj did not comment on its GTV but said that at the company level it is close to achieving profitability in the coming months without elaborating further. Its non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm, Quadrillion Finance has been profitable for the last two years, he said.

Bajaj also did not comment on reports of a potential new Series C funding round. Talks of new funding round comes just months after Slice raised a whopping $220 million as a part of its latest Series B fundraise led by New York-based investment firms Tiger Global and Insight Partners. This round also catapulted it to the famed unicorn club. A unicorn is a privately held startup with a valuation of at least $1 billion.

Bajaj said that Slice is well capitalised while noting that overall investors don’t look at China as aggressively as before and interest rates are high in the US. “So, India continues to be a strong destination from both equity and capital markets side and we don’t think that is going to stop although investors are cautious," he added.

Slice will continue to look to focus on the domestic markets for the next couple of year as there is enough potential to tap into the tech savvy millennial and Gen Z segment.

“In the next 3-4 years our aim is to become the best payments company globally with more than 100 million customers," said Bajaj.

He also said that Slice is not looking to lay off any of its employees and that it will continue to hire.

In the past months, startups such as Vedantu and Meesho, which raised significant funding and turned unicorns last year, announced layoffs in recent months.

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