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The rise of BharatPe: India’s leading fintech company
BharatPe allows offline businesses to accept payments from any app using a QR code. How cool is that?

bharatpe

All streams lead to the ocean, and for fintech businesses in India, reaching the ocean means dominating every aspect of the value chain. For BharatPe, the focus of the last year has been on being a part of the growing fintech convergence in India. 

From their recent financial statement, it has become increasingly obvious that the company’s trajectory is now comparable to that of the big names in the industry.

According to a press statement from BharatPe, the company’s fiscal year 2023 financial performance exhibited significant growth and strategic developments in many significant operational sectors.

The fintech upstart BharatPe had an 182% rise in revenue year over year, from ₹321 crore in FY22 to Rs 904 crore in FY23. 

So what’s driving the success of BharatPe? Let’s find out!

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BharatPe story in a nutshell

The well-known QR code-based payment software BharatPe was launched to meet the demands of traditional retail establishments. Since its founding in 2018, BharatPe has processed over 370 million UPI transactions and has over 1.3 crore retailers in its network spread across more than 400 cities. 

Regarding lending under BharatPe Money, the business works with several NBFCs (non-banking financial companies), including Piramal Finance, L&T Finance, Aditya Birla Capital, and others, to provide loans.

Using the BharatPe QR code to accept UPI payments is one of the many upsides that small merchants and owners of Kirana stores may get from this cutting-edge software solution.

Apart from enabling UPI payments, BharatPe provides a point of sale (POS) system called Bharat Swipe that accepts cards and assists small businesses with funding. 

India’s digital payments scenario today

Digital payments have been a remarkable success story for India. While there were attempts to bring about a change, India’s digital payment landscape remained, at most, in its early stages until 2015. 

In 2022–2023, the narrative around payments has changed in India, with more than 91 billion digital payment transactions in 2023. In June 2023, the combined transaction volume of PhonePe, PayTM, and GooglePay was 95.68%, up from 94.55% the previous year.

After beginning as a recharge platform in 2010 and expanding into Paytm Wallet in 2014, Paytm introduced UPI features for retailers only in 2018. This was eight years after the company’s first debut. In 2018, three years after its establishment, PhonePe also introduced its merchant services.

Yet, BharatPe proves to hold a strong position in the fintech lending market thanks to its unique positioning, supported by its banking joining venture and NBFC licence. 

BharatPe’s CFO, Nalin Negi, thinks that, ultimately, everyone will choose to create solutions that are comparable to BharatPe’s, but since BharatPe has carefully observed the development of merchants, it can continue to move things ahead. 

A detailed look into BharatPe’s revenue growth

In the fiscal year of 2023, the company’s income from operations increased by 182% to Rs 904 crore from Rs 321 crore in fiscal year 22. On the other hand, its loss before tax decreased to Rs 886 crore from Rs 5,594 crore in the previous fiscal year. Additionally, BharatPe said that their EBITDA loss has decreased by around Rs 158 crore in FY23.

The fintech unicorn has come out of a turbulent phase that followed Ashneer Grover’s (former MD of BharatPe) contentious exit. The company has made an incredible turnaround and is now considering going public.

Notably, the merchant lending section of BharatPe saw a 129% rise in loan disbursements in FY23, indicating the success of the company’s lending vertical. Together with NBFCs, the business has enabled the issuance of loans totaling more than Rs 12,400 crore to date.

The organisation also said that in FY23, it installed almost 8 lakh additional soundbox devices and had a 63% rise in TPV (total payment volume) for its POS system, Swipe. According to BharatPe, its POS business handles over Rs 29,000 crore in payments per year.

Also read: What are financial statements and how to read them

Financials

Particulars FY21 (₹ Cr.)FY22 (₹ Cr.)FY23 (₹ Cr.)
Operating Revenue119 456.8904
Profit/lossLoss of 277Loss of 828.8Loss of 941

With annualised sales above Rs 1,500 crore and a lower EBITDA burn, the organisation reported its first profitable month in October.

Funding and backers

Throughout 11 BharatPe investment rounds, the company’s extraordinary fundraising journey has resulted in an outstanding amount of $680.5 million. After achieving this remarkable feat, the business was recognised as the 19th unicorn to appear in 2021, which strengthened its position in the fintech industry.

As of today, the organisation has attracted prominent investors such as Coatue Management, Steadfast Capital, Tiger Global, and Peak XV Partners, to name a few.

The latest equity fundraising round that BharatPe had was in 2021, which secured around $370 million at BharatPe’s valuation of $2.8 billion.

Significantly, BharatPe’s fundraising efforts have allowed it to get to the prestigious position of one of India’s Top 5 Fintech firms in terms of valuation.

Future outlook 

According to a recent statement from the company, BharatPe wants to rank among the top three fintech companies in India for point-of-sale systems. With the release of BharatPe Swipe Android, it also intends to increase its POS networks over the next 12 months. 

Additionally, BharatPe intends to provide integrated inventory, invoicing, and payment systems tailored for certain market niches, such as retail establishments and restaurants. 

The consumer-facing divisions of BharatPe, Postpe, and BharatPe Easy Loans will be combined under the new name, BharatPe Money. 

With the launch of BharatPe Money, a new fully owned division, the company plans to improve its internal corporate control by setting up a separate lending service provider (LSP) business. The newly established company, BharatPe Money, would contain the entire loan section, including services for both merchants and consumers.

Also read: Indian startup valuations hit rock bottom

Conclusion

The success of BharatPe may be due to its unique use of digital payments, efficient application of resources, and attention to financial inclusiveness. 

Nalin Negi, the interim CEO and CFO of BharatPe, also praised the company’s remarkable success and asserted that its remarkable growth in all business verticals demonstrates its commitment to creating value for stakeholders and merchants. 

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StockGro Team

StockGro is India’s first and largest ‘Social Investment’ platform aimed at helping you master the art of “Trading & Investment”. Trade, Invest and get rewarded to Learn everything about ‘Investments’ the fun-filled way.

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