Kunal Shah-led fintech platform CRED is in talks to acquire two startups – Dineout and Wint Wealth. It is looking to give more services to its over 7.5 million users.
While Times Internet-owned Dineout app helps users discover eateries, offers discounts and complimentary dishes with Dineout Passport, Wint Wealth is an alternate investment platform that provides users better solid returns than a Fixed Deposit but less than the stock market.
Wint’s investors include investors- Zerodha’s Rainmatter Capital fund, CRED’s Shah, Better Capital and Raise Financial’s Pravin Jadhav. The Dineout deal is secured at a $25-50 million valuation, while Wint Wealth could be acquired for around $50 million.
To be sure, these discussions are at an early stage, and a deal is not particular, although the talks do imply both CRED’s goals and its financial resources. When the media contacted, Dineout co-founder and CEO Ankit Mehrotra denied the development and told no such conversation happened. Wint Wealth founder and CEO Ajinkya Kulkarni too categorically rejected any talks of a sale. A CRED spokesperson declined to comment on what they termed consideration.
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CRED’s talks to acquire these startups comes weeks later it raised $251 million, increasing its valuation to $4 billion in barely six months. It began in 2018 as a credit-card payment platform rewarding users with points for paying their bills but has since added products such as rent payments and personal loans as it solicits to grow as a full-fledged financial services provider.
“CRED is looking to make a series of acquisitions to become a full-fledged financial services provider, with ambitions of eventually becoming a bank,” a person aware of the matter spoke.
“Today CRED also wants to leverage its brand to the hilt, which is why these direct-to-consumer (D2C) acquisitions like HipBar and Dineout make sense. The brand recall can be strong enough for it even to become a payment mechanism at bars or restaurants,” a second person shared, requesting anonymity.
Dineout was formed by Ankit Mehrotra, Nikhil Bakshi, Sahil Jain, and Vivek Kapoor in 2012 and was acquired by Times Internet Limited within two years in 2014 for $10 million. Miten Sampat, former Chief Strategy Officer of Times Internet who entered CRED last year, served on the board of Dineout until lately. The startup has a business-to-consumer (B2C) offering- where it connects eaters to restaurant discounts & deals, and a business-to-business (B2B) offering, where it helps restaurants with technology and analytics that can help them personalize menus based on user choices.
While CRED has been extending its commerce game by bringing multiple D2C brands on its platform, dining out can be an extra area where its users can transact on the app by using CRED’s wallet or UPI payment methods.
At the same time, Wint Wealth offers retail investors debt instruments traded on the BSE that provide 9-11 percent returns, a better rate than Fixed Deposits. This can potentially open up another investment avenue for CRED’s users.