New-Delhi based fintech platform BharatPe has raised $75 million in a Series-C financing round, TechCrunch reported on Monday.

The funding round of the start-up, co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018, was led by New York-headquartered hedge fund Coatue Management and existing investor Ribbit Capital, the report said.

Other participants in the round were VC firm Amplo and existing investors Steadview Capital and Insight Partners. With the latest funding round, the start-up is being valued at over $400 million. It has raised $140 million so far, the report said.

Use of funds

BharatPe, which helps offline merchants manage digital payments, will use the majority of its fresh capital to facilitate working capital for its merchant partners.

The platform will fund new merchants by helping them secure $500 for a period of three months from BharatPe. Over time, the amount that can be secured by merchants is increased to $2,000.

The start-up has a user base of over 30 lakh merchants across 30 Indian cities. It aims to more than double the number by March 2021, the report said.

Workforce expansion

BharatPe in January had announced its plans to hire over 75 engineers and project managers in 2020 to expand its technology team, according to media reports.

In a strategic move to counter other similar platforms, BharatPe has moved all of its communication with merchants to WhatsApp since February 1. The fintech platform announced plans to transfer all its communication related to transaction notifications, OTPs, day-end balances and loan balances to its WhatsApp contact number.

WhatsApp was a strategic move for BharatPe, as all other players, such as PayTM, PhonePe and GooglePay, will never move to WhatsApp, co-founder Grover had said in an official statement.