India got its 100th unicorn after five-year-old neobanking startup Open raised fresh funds at a billion-dollar valuation.
The fresh investment round was led by IIFL, the Bengaluru-based company said in a statement. Also, existing backers including Tiger Global, Temasek and 3one4 Capital participated. The company, however, did not disclose the amount raised in the latest round.
This comes just seven months after the startup raised $100 million, in a round led by Temasek, at a $500-million valuation. Open has raised about $187 million to date.
The fundraise underscores the euphoria in the startup ecosystem that was recognised as the world’s third-largest by the Economic Survey 2021-22.
2021 was a bumper year for the startup ecosystem as it saw 44 companies turn unicorn. So far this year, India has seen 16 companies touch a billion-dollar valuation or more.
Open, operating as a neobank that offers small and medium-sized businesses as well as enterprises almost all the features of a bank, was founded in 2017 by former PayU and Citrus Pay executives Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko and Ajeesh Achuthan, along with Deena Jacob, the former chief financial officer at app aggregator Tapzo.
Open said it would launch three new products—Open Flo (revenue-based financing), Open Settl (early settlement) and Open Capital (working capital loans)—targeting disbursement of $1 billion in 12 months.
The investment is also expected to accelerate the company’s existing product lines, drive global expansion, and enable it to reach over 5 million customers within the next one year.
The funds will also be used to strengthen the leadership team and increase the employee base from 500 to 1,000 within the year, the statement said.