Digital payments and lending company BharatPe is raising up to Rs 1,300 crore in debt in what appears to be one of the largest debt rounds for an Indian startup this year so far.
BharatPe’s board has passed a special resolution approving the issuance of redeemable non-convertible debentures to raise up to Rs 1,300 crore or $175 million from certain investors for a period of one year, regulatory filings show.
The company has mentioned that this debt is being raised for general corporate purposes. However, it did not disclose the name of the investors from whom BharatPe is raising such a large debt round.
In January 2021, BharatPe had said that it would raise around $500-700 million in debt over the next two years. The Ashneer Grover-led company has already picked up around Rs 250 crore or $34 million in debt this year from ICICI, Alteria Capital, Innoven Capital and Northern Arc Capital.
The company is likely to go back to its existing investors to fund its big size loan. BharatPe declined to comment on the story.
If completed, BharatPe will have around $210 million debt and will enter the top three list of startups and unicorns that have borrowed in 2021. The list of largest debt rounds includes Oyo’s term loan of $864 million in two tranches, ShareChat’s $225 million, Furlenco’s $120 million and Ola Electric’s $100 million.
Besides multiple debt rounds, BharatPe is also nearing the end of a large equity funding round that will make it the fifth fintech unicorn from India. According to Entrackr’s sources, Tiger Global is going to lead a $200-$250 million round in the Bengaluru-based company at a valuation of about $2.8 billion.
It’s worth noting that BharatPe now has a banking licence with Centrum Group after the acquisition of under-administration Punjab and Maharashtra Bank (PMC Bank). This will open up avenues for the New Delhi-based firm to lend aggressively to small and medium enterprises. BharatPe also has plans to enter the consumer segment with a buy now pay later (BNPL) product a few months from now.