Indian fintech startup Slice has become one of the country’s latest unicorns after a $220 million Series B financing round led by Tiger Global. The announcement came on Monday and saw the participation of private equity firm Advent International’s Sunley House, Moore Strategic Ventures, Anfa and existing investors Gunosy, Blume Ventures and 8i.
Becoming a unicorn is a huge deal for the Indian fintech company. It also signals remarkable growth as the company was valued at under $200 million after a financing round that was held in June. Raising $220 million in this latest round brought the company’s valuation to $1 billion and according to reports and people who knew about the matter, the round could be extended to raise at least $250 million.
Slice’s new valuation of $1 billion is a dream come true for Founder Rajan Bajaj whose goal was to see his company attain unicorn status before he turned 30. A tweet he shared earlier this year read “At just 28, the Flipkart alum has figured it out. I turned 28 few weeks back. I want @sliceit_ to become a Unicorn before I get to 30. We could be valued at $100-150 mn today. What is one thing we need to do today to get there?”
Founded in 2016, Slice has meandered its way into becoming one of India’s biggest fintech companies. The company targets tech-savvy young professionals and its operations, designs, basically everything is done with these target audiences in mind. The company’s customer median age is 27, the CEO explains that “these users have been on Instagram and Snapchat for years. The bar for consumer design is very high for them. We don’t have to educate them on how to navigate the app. It’s intuitive for them. They want simplicity and transparency”. India’s credit card market is huge and Slice wants its slice of it. The company is leveraging the fact that the country still remains untapped in terms of financial services.
The services offered by Slice include cards, the ability to spread payments at no costs, etc. The company works hand-in-hand with brands across India.
The company claims to issue at least 200,000 cards every month, making the startup India’s third-largest card issuer. The company says it has a waitlist of more than 1 million users. According to anonymous sources, Slice has an annual revenue run-rate of at least $60 million, and when asked, the company’s founder refused to say anything about it.
Speaking about Slice and its investment in the company, Alex Cook, a partner at Tiger Global said in a statement that “Slice has built a product that customers love, which we expect will result in the continued growth and market share gains. We are excited to partner with Rajan and the team as they expand access to credit and deliver best-in-class customer experience”.
The company has consumer-focused plans for the new funds. It plans on expanding its product offering and launching support for UPI in the coming months. The startup may also launch new “fun” cards for a new category of users – teenagers and will focus part of the funds developing a decentralized product it calls ‘&ID’, as shared by the company’s founder on LinkedIn earlier this year. The post read “It has become second nature for us to jump between identities whether we are online or offline. What if we stop and think about one ID that can be used everywhere and is fully controlled by you? Picture an ID that can be used to accept payments, do KYC, make investments, apply for a visa, rent a car or even create a unique link to all of your brand’s social presence online — without any censorship”.
Commenting on Slice, Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight Partners said in a statement that “Slice targets an underpenetrated market in India and seamlessly allows users to make online payments, pay bills and more. There is a large opportunity in the credit and payment space in India, and Slice is well-positioned to become the leader in the industry. We look forward to this partnership with Slice as they continue to scale up and grow”.