Weekly Rundown: Bessemer raises India-focused fund; slice turns unicorn; CRED, upGrad make acquisitions

US-based venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners has announced its first-ever India-focused fund this week. It launched a $220 million dedicated fund for the country and appointed Nithin Kaimal as Chief Operating Officer for its India arm. 

Bessemer opened its India office in Bangalore more than 15 years ago and has invested in over 65 startups since then. Online pharmacy marketplace PharmEasy, home design and décor marketplace Livspace, food delivery platform Swiggy, home services firm UrbanCompany, and e-grocer BigBasket are among its portfolio.

Credit card payment platform slice’s new funding round helped the unicorn run continue uninterrupted.  The Bengaluru-based company became the 41st unicorn of 2021 after raising $220 million in a Series B round led by Tiger Global Management and Insight Partners. 

Also Read: Credit card payment startup, slice, is India’s 41st unicorn this year

It has raised the funds at over a valuation of $1 billion. Other investors in the round included Advent International’s Sunley House Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Anfa, Gunosy, Blume Ventures, and 8i. 

Slice offers a super card, a prepaid visa card with a credit line that allows users enjoy credit card-like benefits as well as to build their credit score. 

Users can sign up with Slice in seconds, quickly get a virtual card (and get a physical card delivered to their home), and enjoy up to 2 per cent cashback on each transaction. User can also split their bill into 3 months installments at zero cost. 

CRED, a significant player in the new-age credit card market and a competitor to slice, announced it will acquire corporate spend management platform Happay. 

The cash and stock deal is expected to value Happay at $180 million. Happay, a business expense, payments and travel management platform, manages over one million users globally with $1 billion in annual spends. 

Also Read: CRED to acquire corporate spend management platform Happay

The company expects its in-house payment engine to complement CRED’s card management experience for its users. Happay also automates spend management workflow, a trend they expect to explode in the contactless, paperless ecosystem. It also ensures compliance and visibility with an end-to-end audit trail.

Ronnie Screwvala-headed edtech company upGrad said it will buy Global Study Partners (GSP), Australia’s largest study abroad company, in a deal worth $16 million. 

The company said it will inject an additional $10 million into the company to accelerate its future growth. The acquisition is expected to strengthen upGrad’s foray into study abroad, one of the fastest-growing segments in edtech. 

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Sydney, GSP claims to have an institution network of over 600 institutions, with a focus on countries including, Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US.

Also Read: upGrad MD Mayank Kumar offers job on Twitter to student who found bug in co’s website

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