Clear Raises $75 Million To Fund Its Expansion Into Online Payments And Other Business Ventures

Software as a service startup Clear has raised $75 million in a new Series C funding. The round was led by Kora Capital, Alua Capital, and global fintech giant Stripe. Other participants in the round were Think Investment and existing backers of the Bangalore-based company. The investment makes it Stripe’s second investment in India, and comes just days after it made its first investment in India —the acquisition of payments reconciliation software for internet businesses provider, Recko.

Founded in 2011 by Archit Gupta, Srivatsan Chari and Ankit Solanki, Clear offers cloud software subscription to help individuals and businesses file tax returns online, and counts Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital India, Founders Fund, and Elevation Capital among its earliest investors. The company offers solutions like GST and e-way bill software, Max ITC, E-invoicing, along with business incorporation and compliance services for enterprises.

Commenting on the investment, Founder and Chief Information Officer of Kora, Nitin Saigal, said that his company was excited to partner with Clear “as they innovate at scale in the Indian SaaS ecosystem, enabling enterprises and SMEs to automate their workflows around taxation, invoicing and several other adjacencies.” Clear in turn will learn from Kora’s strong experience in emerging markets, as well as Stripe’s proficiency in building economic infrastructure for the internet.

According to Chief Executive Archit Gupta, the fresh funds will be used to accelerate its expansion into business-to-business (B2B) credit and payments, and grow its business in international markets such as Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “India is on a massive digitisation journey and we are fortunate to be in the perfect storm of electronic invoicing, GST, UPI, cheap mobile internet and rapid adoption of technology due to Covid-19. We are doubling down on our SaaS platform to help businesses with collateral-free debt and payments. This funding also gives us the fuel for our international expansion,” he said.

Clear claims to have experienced a five-times growth in the past 18 months, with more than 3,000 new large businesses, and more than one million small businesses on the platform. According to Archit Gupta, the company’s platform now processes over 10 percent of India’s business invoices with a gross merchandise value of $400 billion. The company expects its annualised revenue run rate, which is currently at $25million, to reach $45 million over the next 24 months.

In total, Clear has raised over $140 million, and although it did not announce its current valuation, it is estimated to be over $700 million.

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