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Neobank startup Chqbook raises Rs 40 Cr in pre-Series B round

Chqbook, a neobank platform for small business owners, has raised Rs 40 crore in a pre-Series B round led by existing investor Aavishkaar Capital and Rajiv Dadlani Group. The new round also saw participation from Earlsfield Capital U.K., and family offices and HNI investors including Jeremy Lim, Bhupesh Kumar, Nilesh Srivastava, and others.

In March 2020, Aavishkar Capital had led a $5 million Series A round Chqbook. The fresh proceeds will be utilized for ramping up user acquisition and strengthening technology, said Chqbook in a press release.

Chqbook enables access to current accounts, bookkeeping services, lending, and insurance to small merchants or SMEs. Most of its customers are either banking with PSU or cooperative banks.

The four-year-old company claims to have over 650,000 transacting customers and Rs 3,000 crore of annualized transaction value. According to Sharma, the company aims to lend over Rs 30,000 crore, open 1 million accounts, and insure 10 million customers over the next few years.

The company saw its revenue from operations swell up nearly 11X to Rs 12.8 crore in FY20 from Rs 1.17 crore earned in FY19. During FY20, its annual expenses ballooned nearly 4X to Rs 16.46 crore while losses during the year grew by 72.7% to Rs 6.4 crore.

Among neo-banking platforms that cater to SMEs, Chqbook directly competes with the likes of Open and PayO while RazorpayX is also emerging as one of the top neobanking platforms in the segment.

Recently, Open had kicked off a new round to raise nearly $62 million from Temasek, Google and existing investors such as Tiger Global Management and 3one4 Capital. Entrackr had exclusively reported the fundraise on September 10. According to sources, the company is likely to receive more funds in the ongoing round.

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