Fintech unicorn Slice witnessed exceptional growth in its scale in the last two fiscal years as the firm’s operating revenue grew over 12X to Rs 847 crore in FY23 from Rs 68 crore in FY21. Significantly, the firm’s losses lagged this searing growth, growing only 4X during the same period.
When it comes to year-on-year growth, Slice grew threefold to Rs 847 crore during FY23 from Rs 283 crore in FY22, its consolidated financial statements sourced from the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show.
283 847 542 1273 -254 -406
Founded by Rajan Bajaj, Slice provides a physical and virtual card focused on millennials. It enables students and salaried professionals to buy collateral-free products and services online on estimated monthly installments (EMIs) through an app and helps them build credit scores.
Interest income received on the portfolio loans accounted for 56% of their total operating revenue which surged 3.5X to Rs 472 crore in FY23 from Rs 134 crore in FY22. The remaining collections came from fees and commissions which include processing fees, internet handling, commission, services fees on loans, and other operating activities.
Head to TheKredible for the detailed revenue breakup.
Moving toward the cost side, Slice saw a 2.9X surge in its employee benefits to Rs 287 crore in FY23 from Rs 99 crore in FY22. This component also includes Rs 40 crore as ESOP cost. While boosting up the lending business, Slice’s finance cost or interest expenses elevated 2.6X to Rs 169 crore in the last fiscal year.
Its advertising cum promotional, subscription membership, IT, legal professional, and other overheads catalyze the firm’s overall expenditure to the tune of 2.3X to Rs 1,273 crore in FY23.
Notably, Slice recorded a non-performing asset (NPA) of Rs 256 crore under the loss on financial assets, loans and advances during the previous fiscal (FY23) which stood at Rs 58 crore in FY22.
- Employee benefit expense
- Finance costs
- Subscriptions membership fees
- Information technology expenses
- Legal professional charges
- Advertising promotional expenses
Check TheKredible for the complete expense breakup.
With the 3X spike in employee benefits and NPAs, Slice’s losses grew 59.8% to Rs 406 crore in FY23 compared to Rs 254 crore in FY22. Its ROCE and EBITDA margin stood at -22% and -25% respectively. The noticeable rise in scale helped the company improve its expense-to-revenue ratio in FY23. Slice spent Rs 1.50 to earn a rupee in FY23.
|Expense/Rupee of ops revenue
The Bengaluru-based firm raised over $340 million to date including a massive $220 million Series B round led by Tiger Global and Insight partners. According to the data intelligence platform TheKredible, Tiger Global and Insight Partners hold 7.9% and 6.6% stake respectively in Slice while its founder and CEO Rajan Bajaj commands 9.3% stake.
In October 2023, Slice and North East Small Finance Bank (NESFB) announced their merger in a move to expand their financial accessibility. Slice initiated the merger after acquiring a 5% stake in the Guwahati-headquartered bank for about $3.42 million in March last year.
The rise in scale is especially creditable when considering the disruption Slice faced from RBI’s change in rules for card issuers like it in August 2022. While the merger with the NESFB is likely to play out in FY25, the FY23 show indicates a firm that has built enough resilience to manage the kind of shocks to the model it did during the year. That will be a very reassuring message to its stakeholders (the spike in NPAs notwithstanding) as it seeks to build a path to sustainability in the coming period. The added flexibility of being part of a banking umbrella should go a long way in helping the firm achieve those goals.