Stripe Backs India’s Clear In $75 Million Funding
Stripe has made its second investment in India, just days after disclosing the first. One of the world’s most valuable startups has backed Bangalore-based SaaS fintech firm Clear.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The 10-year-old Indian startup, formerly known as ClearTax, said it has raised $75 million in its Series C funding. The round was led by Kora Capital. Stripe, as well as Alua Capital, Think Investments and several other existing investors participated in the round, which brings the startup’s all-time raise to over $140 million. The new round values the Indian startup at over $700 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Clear — which counts Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital India, Founders Fund, and Elevation Capital among its earliest investors — helps individuals and businesses file their tax returns. It also provides wealth management advice to individuals, and helps businesses with e-invoicing and credit.
The startup says over 6 million individuals, and more than 1 million small and medium-sized businesses and over 30,000 enterprises use its platform.
In the past 18 months, said Archit Gupta, Clear founder and chief executive in an interview with TechCrunch, the startup’s SaaS platform has grown five times. Clear said it processes over 10%, up from 3% in 2016, of India’s business invoices with a GMV of $400 billion.
Clear’s marquee offering, ClearTax, started at a time when e-filing was not as popular in India. But the startup found itself in a good spot thanks to government regulations in the following years. (The government made e-filing mandatory in the country five years ago, for instance.)
But the number of people in India, home to 1.4 billion people, who pay taxes is still fairly low. (Only about 60 million individuals pay taxes in India.) That has been one of the reasons why Clear has expanded its offerings to serve businesses and also broadened to services such as credit and wealth management.
“We are 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,” said Nitin Saigal, Kora’s founder and CIO, in a statement.
Gupta said the startup will deploy the fresh funds to broaden its offerings and is also beginning to expand overseas. Clear, which is already serving businesses in the Middle East, plans to expand to cater to similar businesses in Europe soon, he said.
“We welcome Kora, Stripe and our other incoming investors. Kora has strong experience in technology players in emerging markets and Stripe is a global technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet – we are excited to learn from both of them,” he said.
“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 fuel for our international expansion.”
Stripe has yet to enter the Southeast Asia and India markets in a meaningful way. The firm has teams at both the regions, but has yet to make inroads in either. If it chose to expand to the world’s second largest internet market, it would compete with YC and Sequoia Capital India-backed Razorpay, which recently received funds from Salesforce and was last valued at $3 billion. Like Clear and Razorpay, Stripe is also backed by Y Combinator.
Stripe has already backed at least one more Indian startup, according to sources.
BREAKING: IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu arrested
Follow Our Activities On Facebook
4 hours ago
6 hours ago
#BigBrotherNaija “Level Up” Week 6
Though last Sunday Sunday was meant to be a “no-eviction” day, it came as a shocker when fake housemate, Modella…
Dating in 2022; Situationships Are Not For The Fainthearted
Situationships are defined as that space between a defined relationship and something other than a friendship. It is a romantic…
20 Questions With Dinta Media’s Visual Storyteller, Chimeremogo Nwoke
Dinta Media is not really just a media production brand but we like to see ourselves as a hub for…
How Are Nigeria’s Small Businesses Coping?
The current rising rate of inflation and other burdens against the Nigerian economy speaks to the realities of the times.
Thrifting Is All The Rave Now, Here’s Why
By Amy Adindu The affordable clothing movement has gained global attention and acceptance as we’re all trying to look like…
#BigBrotherNaija “Level Up” Week 2
Week 2 of the highly watched Nigerian TV show kicked off with an early plot twist. On Sunday, Big Brother…
#BlueTunes: Burna Boy, Omah Lay Top Album Picks For July
July was a promising month for music lovers; from Lizzo’s album titled Special and Imagine Dragons’ Mercury, (Acts 1 &…
#BlueTunes Album Picks For June
Gbagada Express – Boj Bolaji Odojukan, popularly known as BOJ, was raised both in England and Nigeria. He shot to…
“A Creative’s Dream” with Jeff Chinonso
On the 26th of June 2022, Jeff Chinonso hosted his first solo art exhibition. The Augmented Reality exhibition themed “A…
Nigerian API-based company Thepeer raises $2.1 million
Tech infrastructure startup Thepeer has raised a $2.1 million seed round according to a report from TechCabal. Thepeer, a Nigerian…
Dika Ofoma, Ugochukwu Onuoha take on grief in Debut Film “The Way Things Happen”
The twenty-minute film focuses on the loss of a loved one, and how grief changes a person.
Nigerian Startups might just be Crippled by a Recently Leaked bill
Over the years there has been talks of amendment on the 2007 Act of the National Information & Technology Agency (NITDA).
Why We Love Kelechi Amadi Obi
The definition of talent is Kelechi Amadi’s iconic story. Imagine a person who studies law in school, gets called to Bar, and leaves it all for something different and unrelated…Painting!
Leave a Reply