Uni gets $18.5 million from Lightspeed, Accel Partners

NEW DELHI: Fintech startup Uni has raised $18.5 million (about 136 crore) in seed funding — its largest in calendar year 2020 — from marquee VC firms Lightspeed Ventures India and Accel Partners India.

The company, which is still in stealth mode, has been founded by Nitin Gupta, who was formerly a senior executive at PayU India and at Ola Financial Services.

The large seed round marks the latest example of a second- or third-time entrepreneur raising substantial capital while still in stealth mode.

“Nitin and Uni’s team are passionate about unlocking the power of financial services for millions of Indian consumers using new tech-powered solutions. We are excited about their mission and proud to support them from Day One,” Bejul Somaia, partner, Lightspeed India Partners, said.

Prior to setting up Uni, Gupta served as the chief executive of Ola Financial Services from 2017 till he stepped down in May. Before that, he served as CEO of PayU India, and was also credited as a founder at the fintech major. Gupta also was instrumental in PayU’s $130 million acquisition of CitrusPay.

Given that Uni is still under wraps, the company has yet to formally disclose its business and revenue models. It has, however, disclosed that it is based on the business model of new-age credit cards for the digital generation.

The purpose of the fundraising is to build a team and once the product is launched, it will be used for marketing and working capital.

“Over the last five years, we have witnessed a 3x acceleration of digital and electronic payment platforms. However, the share of credit card payments has fallen drastically. There is an opportunity to expand the market from 58 million credit cards in India today to 200 million credit cards over the next 5 years by building new products, catering to underserved customer needs and getting new customer segments,” Gupta, an IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Delhi alum, said.

One of Uni’s co-founders, Prateek Jindal, played a key role in setting up Ola Money postpaid, while another, Laxmikant Vyas, was head of risk for EMI cards business and head of data science at Bajaj Finance.

Uni is Gupta’s third startup. Apart from PayU and Uni, he had also co-founded Khojguru, a web and mobile-based coupon service, which was sold in 2015.

Uni gets $18.5 million from Lightspeed, Accel Partners Uni gets $18.5 million from Lightspeed, Accel Partners Reviewed by TechCO on 10/06/2020 Rating: 5

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