Anish Achuthan, co-founder and CEO of Open.
Anish Achuthan, co-founder and CEO of Open.

Tiger Global leads funding in Open Financial

  • Open offers a business account in partnership with banks which helps businesses automate and run their finances
  • The startup aims to widen its customer base to 1 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by September 2020

Mumbai: Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which provides banking services to businesses, Tuesday said it has raised $30 million in a Series B round led by New York-based investment firm Tiger Global Management Llc.

Tanglin Venture Partners, a venture capital fund floated by former Tiger Global executives Ravi Venkatesh and Edwina Yeo, was the other new investor in the round.

Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Speedinvest and BetterCapital AngelList Syndicate also participated in the round.

Open offers a business account in partnership with banks which helps businesses automate and run their finances. It offers a payment gateway, automated prepaid cards, and connections to multiple banks for a business to manage its banking from one place.

Open plans to use the funds to invest in technology and hire across product, engineering and sales functions. “We’re looking to scale up the team to at least 200 by the next quarter... Open is an 85-member team working out of Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi," said Anish Achuthan, co-founder and CEO, Open, in an emailed response to a Mint query.

The startup aims to widen its customer base to 1 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by September 2020, and its funds are expected to last the next three years, Achutan said.

Open platform serves over one lakh SMEs and has processed over 35,000 crore in transactions. The startup also claims to add over 20,000 SMEs every month.

Tiger Global, one of India’s most prolific startup investors, with early bets on Flipkart and Ola, has recently turned its focus on business-to-business startups. After close to two years in which it made no investments in India, it has invested in several B2B startups in the last six months, including agri-marketing and delivery firm Ninjacart, where it invested $89 million in April.

Barring Ninjacart, in the last six months, Tiger has invested in Zenoti, which offers software for salons and spa chains across 44 countries; Fyle, which offers expense management software for enterprises, Facilio, a real-time facility management solutions provider for real estate businesses; CleverTap, a SaaS-based mobile analytics and marketing company; and Locus, a logistics management software startup. It is in talks with at least half a dozen more firms for investments, according to Mint and other reports.

These show a marked shift in Tiger’s approach, as it moves away from the consumer-centric approach of 2011 to 2015 when it invested in consumer internet firms such as Ola, ShopClues and Hike apart from Flipkart.

Tiger Global’s interest in India continues even after the departure of its celebrated private equity chief Lee Fixel in March. Tiger’s latest fund, Tiger Global Private Investment Partners XI, of $3.75 billion will focus on consumer internet, cloud computing, industry software and direct-to-consumer companies in India, China and the US.

Mint first reported on 25 April that after Fixel’s exit, Tiger has been looking for B2B deals.

Tiger continues to hold stakes in some of India’s biggest B2B startups, including logistics provider Delhivery, freight transport firm BlackBuck, SaaS startup Freshworks Inc. and robotics startup GreyOrange.

While Freshworks became a unicorn—valued at over a billion dollars—last year, Delhivery became one in March 2019, when SoftBank Group Corp. led a $413 million round. While BlackBuck was valued at $950 million after its fundraise last month, GreyOrange was valued at $500 million after its last round.

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