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Tiger Global Helps Make Credit-Card Startup Newest India Unicorn

·2-min read

(Bloomberg) -- Slice, a credit-card startup targeting young consumers, raised $220 million to become India’s latest unicorn in a record funding year for the country’s internet companies.

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The round led by Tiger Global Management and Insight Partners valued Slice at more than $1 billion, it said in a statement Monday. The company will use the capital to boost hiring, add new offerings and expand in the digital payments market.

Launched in 2019, Slice’s credit card offers perks such as cashback and flexible payment options, and the company touts sign-ups that take less than a minute. The Bangalore-based company has rapidly gained users, with the more than 200,000 cards it issues per month making it one of India’s top providers.

Global investors have poured billions of dollars into the country’s tech startups this year, breeding dozens of unicorns and several initial public offerings. Moore Strategic Ventures, Gunosy Capital, Sunley House Capital and Blume Ventures were among those participating in Slice’s latest round.

Fintech is one of the quickest growing internet markets in India, where most people have no credit history and the penetration of payments cards is low. Slice and many of its fintech peers target a massive part of the population who are new to credit and have been under-served by traditional banks and card companies.

Unlike many other consumer-internet startups, Slice has burned relatively little capital to amass users and grow its business. Its cards come loaded with a credit line via tie-ups with non-banking financial corporations and users don’t have a “minimum due” unlike traditional credit cards. The company’s 5 million registered users have a median age of 27.

Slice’s parent GaragePreneurs Internet Pvt was founded in 2016 by Rajan Bajaj. Now 28, Bajaj is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology and worked in the product team of Walmart Inc.-owned e-commerce company Flipkart before turning to entrepreneurship.

Last month, Slice said it would offer new hires a three-day work week with salary at 80% of the going market rate in a bid to compete for talent with more established IT services companies as well global technology giants. Slice employs about 450 people and has announced plans to add 1,000 engineers and product managers in the next three years.

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