Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Uni raises $70 mn in Series A as India's buy-now-pay-later space heats up

Bengaluru: Credit and payments-led fintech startup, Uni has raised $70 million as part of its Series A round, led by General Catalyst, as the company looks to boost its growth moving forward.

The current round also saw participation from Eight Roads Ventures, Elevation Capital, Arbor Ventures, and existing investors Lightspeed and Accel.

With the fundraise, the company is now valued at $350 million.

According to the company, the funds will be utilised towards launching newer credit-led products for customers, invest in building further technology capabilities, as well as grow the loan disbursals on the platform.

Uni’s fundraise comes at a time when private investments in the ‘buy now pay later’ space are heating up. Recently, Slice, which also issues credit-based and payment cards became the 41st Indian unicorn this year, after raising $220 million at a valuation of $1 billion.

In September, digital credit and ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) provider ZestMoney had also raised $50 million as the company looked to tap an international merchant base for customers.

A-year-old Uni provides credit-card based products for customers, which help users pay later through equated monthly installments. It launched the first product, its pay later card -- Pay 1/3rd, earlier in June this year, allowing customers to pay for goods in three equal installments over three months, with no extra charges.

“Today, the country has close to 35 million credit card holders, who own close to 60 million cards. The market cap for these credit card issuers is roughly $60 billion. However, there are 190 million Indians which have presence with the credit bureau and 150 million Indians pay online. So, we believe that the market cap of Indian credit issuers will grow to $150 billion to $200 billion in the next five years — and that is also the opportunity investors see for us to capture," said Nitin Gupta, founder and chief executive officer, Uni in an interaction with Mint.

Gupta was previously the co-founder of PayU India and served at leadership positions at Bajaj Finserv and Ola Financial Services.

With the launch of Pay 1/3rd, Uni has grown monthly disbursements from 80 lakh in June 2021 to almost 175 crore in December, this year.

It partners with digital non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to disburse this credit.

The company now plans to scale its monthly disbursements to 1500 crore by September next year, and looks to launch a new credit-card product and rewards on its platform.

"There are few countries in the world where the opportunity for credit expansion is as massive as in India, and we believe some iconic companies will be built to capture this opportunity in the next decade. We are excited to back a team that is world-class on credit, risk, and payments while also being hyper focused on product and customer delight," said Alex Tran, managing director at General Catalyst.

Uni has plans to acquire an NBFC licence in the long term as well as get into peer-to-peer lending. Gupta refrained from sharing timelines for the same.

“Uni’s offering combines salient features of cards and ‘buy-now-pay-later’ to provide a game-changing consumer experience. We are impressed with Nitin and his team’s intense product focus and are excited to back them as they execute their bold vision to transform India’s consumer finance landscape," said Shweta Bhatia, partner and head of technology investments, Eight Roads Ventures.

The company had also raised $18.5 million in seed funding led by Lightspeed India Partners and Accel Partners in October, last year.

With the fundraise, Uni will also look to double its team size to 200 individuals in the coming months.

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