Stripe made its second investment in India just days after disclosing the first. One of the world’s most valued startups has backed Bangalore-based Fintech SaaS company Clear, the two said on Sunday evening.
The 10-year-old Indian startup, formerly known as ClearTax, said it had raised $ 75 million in its Series C funding. The round was led by Kora Capital. Stripe, along with Alua Capital, Think Investments, and several other existing investors participated in the round, bringing the startup’s all-time increase to over $ 140 million. The new round values the Indian startup at more than $ 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 early investors – helps individuals and businesses complete their tax returns. She also provides wealth management advice to individuals and supports businesses in electronic invoicing and credit.
The startup claims that more than 6 million people, and more than one million small and medium businesses and more than 30,000 companies use its platform.
Over the past 18 months, said Archit Gupta, founder and CEO of Clear 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 Indian commercial invoices with a GMV of $ 400 billion.
Clear’s flagship offering, ClearTax, began at a time when e-filing was not as popular in India. But the startup found itself in a good position thanks to government regulations in the following years. (The government made e-filing mandatory in the country five years ago, for example.)
But the number of people in India, home to 1.4 billion people, who pay taxes is still quite low. (Only around 60 million people pay taxes in India.) This is one of the reasons Clear has broadened its offering to serve businesses and has also expanded to services such as credit and credit management. patrimony.
“We are excited to partner with Clear as they innovate at scale in the Indian SaaS ecosystem, enabling businesses and SMEs to automate their workflows around tax, invoicing and several other adjacencies. “Said Nitin Saigal, founder and CIO of Kora, in a statement.
Gupta said the startup will roll out the fresh funds to expand its offering and begin to expand overseas as well. Clear, which already serves businesses in the Middle East, plans to expand to reach similar businesses in Europe soon, he said.
“We welcome Kora, Stripe and our other incoming investors. Kora has a solid track record of emerging market tech players and Stripe is a global tech company building an economic infrastructure for the internet – we’re excited to learn from all of them, ”he said.
“India is on a massive digitalization path and we are fortunate to be in the perfect storm of e-invoicing, GST, UPI, cheap mobile internet and rapid adoption. of technology due to Covid-19. We’re doubling down on our SaaS platform to help businesses get unsecured debt and payments. This funding also gives us fuel for our international expansion.
Stripe has yet to enter the Southeast Asian and Indian markets significantly. The company has teams in both regions, but has yet to make a breakthrough in either. If it chose to expand into the world’s second largest internet market, it would compete with Razorpay, backed by YC and Sequoia Capital India, which recently received funding from Salesforce and was valued at $ 3 billion for the last time. Like Clear and Razorpay, Stripe is also backed by Y Combinator.
Stripe has already backed at least one other Indian startup, according to sources.