In a round led by established investor DST Global, the Bengaluru-based credit card bill payment app CRED raised $80 Mn. The other established investors, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Tiger Global, were also involved in the round.
The latest funding round a Series C for CRED gives a post-money valuation of around $800 Mn to the start-up founded by Kunal Shah. That’s up from the valuation of about $450 Mn that CRED achieved last year after its $120 Mn Series B round.
CRED, which was founded in 2018, provides rewards and incentives for paying credit card bills. Only after their credit score has been screened are members permitted, so CRED has the data to back up its lending game.
More than 10 lakh users have been introduced to the mobile application by CRED in the last two years. Shah reported that since the virus outbreak in India, the company has not witnessed any distress in repayments from its members.
Although the incentives encourage interaction, the store is an e-commerce site that enables the purchase to be discovered at the end. The company has over 1,300 brands as partners, including, among others, Samsung, Myntra, and Curefit.
Investors have seen strong momentum and they are therefore also leading this round. It owns the experience of the customer and has been able to curate a differentiated digital experience that is trusted by traders and financial institutions.
India’s digital lending sector has the potential to become a $1Tn opportunity by 2023, according to a BCG report from 2018. The study adds that it is expected that individual lending records a rise of 30 percent year-on-year (YoY), to hit $50 billion.
Players such as LoanTap, EarlySalary, PaySense, ZestMoney, among others are already offering millions of citizens digital loans in India. Smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Realme, and OPPO have also forayed into the digital lending industry.
In the long run, via credit card bill payments and rewards, the company plans to grow its customer base and then establish high-end loyalty and provide other services, including insurance.
For its promotional activities, Cred has also been linking up with influencers and has invested extensively in rewarding its bill-paying users. Not all, however, have been happy with the benefits as well.
User reports indicate that the dedication slows down, citing factors such as the addition of payment to real cards takes 1-2 working days, lack of useful deals, and more.
Kunal Shah is a serial entrepreneur known for his mobile coupon-powered recharge platform, Freecharge, which Snapdeal bought for $450 million in 2015.