CRED Raises $81 Million, Undertakes $1.2 Million Employee Stock Option Buyback
CRED on Monday said it has raised $81 million (about Rs 591.2 crore) in funding, valuing the fintech firm at a post-money valuation of $806 million (about Rs 5,883 crore).
Partners of existing investor DST Global led the series C round along with Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, and General Catalyst, a statement said.
In addition, Sofina, Coatue and Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet also invested in this round, it added.
As part of the process, existing and former employees have liquidated their employee stock ownership plans, collectively worth $1.2 million (Rs 9 crore), it said.
The company has raised $ a total of $228 million in four rounds till date. This includes $1 million in seed capital by founder Kunal Shah (QED Innovations), $25 million in series A and $120 million in series B round.
CRED rewards credit card users for making timely bill payments and offers various benefits to them. It has over 5.9 million users on its platform currently, up from 3 million in March last year. Admission to CRED is based on a user's credit score, and anyone with a score over 750 can be part of the community.
"The funds raised will be used to create additional value for our members through products, services and experiences that enable them to lead a good life. These offerings will be introduced in partnership with merchants and institutions that are part of CRED," CRED founder Kunal Shah told PTI.
The focus is on launching additional products for members in collaboration with existing and new partners this year, he added.
"We want to create more opportunities for merchants to engage customers and for financial institutions to cross-sell. Most importantly, we are at 20% of credit card bill payments in India and would like to gain more share in that area," Shah said.
The ESOP buyback, which was completed on Jan. 1, is the first such liquidity program initiated by CRED. Employees who hold vested stocks were eligible to sell up to 50% of their vested ESOP shares in the company. Cred has over 300 employees.
"As we raise funds to support our next phase of growth, it's important to acknowledge the role that employees have played in our success. We are committed to enabling wealth-creation opportunities for them and have allocated 10% of our captable allocated for ESOPs even at the Series C stage," Shah said.