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UPI-based payments startup BharatPe racks up $15.5 million to push offline transactions

BharatPe which facilitates Unified Payments Interface-based transactions at retail merchant outlets has raised $5.5 million from US-based fund Insight Venture Partners, according to data sourced from Registrar of Companies. 

This round comes on the back of a $10 million investment that was led by Sequoia India and Beenext earlier this month.

ET was the first to report about BharatPe’s latest financing round in its February 21 edition. This is one of the largest Series A rounds for an Indian startup.

BharatPe is trying to push the adoption of UPI payments in the offline space has completed three rounds of funding since inception.

The company had raised Rs 2 crore last year from friends and family. In its seed round Sequoia Capital and Beenext has pumped in $2 million.

The fintech startup deploys QR codes at merchant outlets for payments through any app which supports UPI transactions.

BharatPe was founded by Ashneer Grover who was the chief financial officer at Grofers and Shashvat Nakrani. Sources in the know said that the company was valued at around $55-60 million.

Grover said that the company had crossed 2 lakh transactions per day and grown thrice in three months. While sharing the numbers on micro-blogging site, Twitter he said that on the BharatPe platform, the average value of transactions through Google Pay was double of PhonePe and Paytm. Paytm as well as PhonePe both acquire their own UPI merchants as well.

In an earlier conversation with ET, Grover has said, “Right now our focus is on growing our merchant base and payments is not how we will monetise.”

He added that the company will monetise merchants on the platform by lending to them as a certain portion of their business flows through us.”

BharatPe which acquires retail merchants competes with companies like Benow and banks which are supposed to deploy QR codes to promote digital payments for small merchants.

While UPI has been growing steadily over the last year, it’s been primarily dominated by peer-to-peer transactions. Sources suggest merchant payments have about 15% share of overall volume on UPI. Players like BharatPe are trying to leverage the UPI railroads and take small value cash payments into the digital route.

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