Friday, 2023 September 22

SME-focused neobank Open raises USD 100 million round led by Temasek

Bengaluru-based neobanking platform Open, which caters to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), has raised USD 100 million in a Series C round from Singapore’s Temasek, Google, and Japanese VC firm SBI Investment.

Existing investors Tiger Global and 3one4 Capital also participated in the round, the startup said on Tuesday. The four-year-old startup, which has raised a total of USD 35 million since its inception, also counts Beenext, Speedinvest, Unicorn India Ventures, Tanglin Venture Partners, Recruit Strategic Partners, and AngelList as backers.

Open plans to use the fresh funds to accelerate its growth. It aims to expand its base to five million SMEs from the current one million, and enter overseas markets, including South East Asia, Europe, and the US over the next year. It will also utilize funds to strengthen new product lines as well as its leadership team. The startup is looking to hire over 800 people across its technology, product, and business teams.

Founded in 2017 by Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Ajeesh Achuthan, and Deena Jacob, Open was the first Asian startup to offer neobanking services to SMEs and startups, helping them automate their business payments, banking, and accounting functions. It has created a unified interface that integrates a payment gateway, automated accounting, reconciliation tools, and debit and credit cards for expense management.

Open said it currently processes over USD 20 billion in annualized transactions. The company also claims to be adding over 90,000 SMEs every month, making it the fastest-growing SME-focused neobanking platform globally.

“Our product offerings have helped nearly two million SMEs in the Indian market, and we’re just getting started,” said Open CEO Anish Achuthan in a statement. “We are looking to expand our product range in the coming months in embedded finance and enterprise banking. We are aiming to cater to over five million SMEs by August 2022.”

According to Pranav Pai, founding partner at 3one4 Capital, Open has set the standard for business banking and will take its full-stack approach into new sectors and geographies.

Amidst the massive digital adoption happening in India due to the healthcare crisis, fintech has emerged as one of the most funded sectors in India. Local fintech startups raised a whopping USD 4.6 billion in funding across 160 deals between January and August 2021—5.8x higher compared to the same period last year. While a significant chunk of capital flowed into payments and lending startups, neobanks remain one of the top emerging sub-segments within the Indian fintech space.

Moulishree Srivastava
Moulishree Srivastava
In-depth, analytical and explainer stories and interviews on technology, internet economy, investments, climate tech and sustainability. Coverage of business strategies, trends in startup and VC ecosystems and cross-border stories capturing the influence of SEA, China and Japan on the local startup industry.

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