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Global Financial Services Investor, Apis Growth Fund II, invests US$35m in leading hyper-growth Indian digital payments company, Cashfree


  • Apis Growth Fund II (the “Fund”), a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP (“Apis”), has acquired a minority stake in Cashfree, Inc. (“Cashfree” or the “Company”), a leading and fast growing Indian online payments company. The Fund is investing US$35m in Cashfree to accelerate the company’s already rapid growth.
  • The Apis managed Fund joins existing earlier stage investors, including Y Combinator and Smilegate amongst others.
  • Cashfree is a leading payments solutions company that helps thousands of Indian and global businesses to collect and disburse payments. It processes all payment methods including credit card, debit card, net banking, UPI and popular wallets. As of March 2020, Cashfree was processing over US$12bn annualised payment volume.
  • Apis is an ESGI-native global private equity asset manager that supports growth stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses. The Fund’s investors include leading institutional investors, developmental and multilateral financial institutions, global banks and insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and HNWIs across Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.

 

London, United Kingdom, November 24, 2020 — Bengaluru based fintech, Cashfree, has received a minority equity investment from Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis. Cashfree is one of India’s leading and fastest growing digital payments companies and the US$35m investment from the Fund represents the company’s largest funding round to date. As a financial services’ focused fund manager, Apis was attracted to Cashfree’s strong growth and profitability as well as its product innovation in one of the most dynamic payments markets in the world. Cashfree was founded by Akash Sinha and Reeju Datta in 2015 and processes online payments for thousands of Indian businesses. The company is a 2017 alumnus of Y Combinator, the start-up incubator based in San Francisco, and has grown exponentially, processing over US$12bn annualised payment volumes as of March 2020. Cashfree has been profitable since its first year of operations and counts leading internet companies amongst its merchants, including Cred, Big Basket, Ixigo, HDFC, Livspace, Xiaomi, Zomato, Shell, Acko, Zoomcar, Medlife, Delhivery and Dunzo.

Cashfree’s Payment Gateway supports payments from more than 100 payment channels (including debit / credit cards, RuPay, UPI, bank transfers, wallets and various instalment options) while the Payouts solution helps businesses send money instantly to bank accounts, cards, UPI and wallets with a simple API that can be integrated with their products or directly into their ERP systems. Cashfree pioneered the Payouts product through its proprietary technology in India and remains the market leader in this category. The Payouts solution is used by Cashfree’s merchants for vendor payments, wage payments, bulk refunds, e-commerce refunds, insurance claims processing, loan disbursements, expense reimbursements, loyalty and rewards payments.

The company continues to innovate through the launch of adjacent value-added products to its merchants including same day settlement, cross-border payments, merchant lending, e-pos, bill payments, a split payment for marketplaces, subscription payments, payment pre-authorisation and bank validation.

The Fund’s investment comes as Cashfree’s rapid growth has accelerated since the Covid-19 outbreak due to rising e-commerce penetration by increasing adoption of Indian businesses and consumers. The investment will support the company’s ambitious growth plans including launching new products such as its instant settlement product that allows merchants to receive funds from online customer purchases immediately instead of the usual 1 – 2 days settlement cycle and helps reduce the working capital gap, especially for small to medium size enterprises. The investment will also assist the company in making selective bolt-on acquisitions to further its geographic and product reach.

In addition to its strong financial performance, Cashfree has significant social impact on the communities it serves with more than 50,000 merchants using its platform. The majority of new merchants signing up are small and medium enterprises that have been increasingly turning to e-commerce in order to reach their customers since the Covid-19 outbreak began and are using Cashfree to accept online payments.

 

Akash Sinha and Reeju Datta, Co-Founders of Cashfree said: “We are very excited to have Apis as an investor and partner and value their extensive experience investing in high growth digital payments companies, like Cashfree, across several geographies globally. This investment is a strong endorsement of the value of the platform that we have built focusing on solving unaddressed problems for both customers and merchants and a strong affirmation of the vision we have for Cashfree and the scale of the opportunity in Indian digital payments. We look forward to growing Cashfree into the leading digital payments company in India and internationally.

Udayan Goyal, Managing Partner and Apis Co-Founder said: “As digital payments proliferate globally, the Indian market continues to represent one of the most exciting opportunities that we see in the world. Cashfree has maintained a leadership position in this space and is now going through a period of rapid growth fuelled by the development of unique and innovative products that serve the needs of its customers. We are delighted to support Cashfree on its exciting journey ahead and to back an exceptional management team who are at the forefront of the continued digitalisation and democratisation of payments in India.”

Matteo Stefanel, Managing Partner and Apis Co-Founder said: “As an experienced investor in payments globally, we are thrilled to become a key investor in Cashfree and to partner with Akash Sinha and Reeju Datta who together have built a tremendous business in a highly competitive market such as India. We trust that our investment will further accelerate Cashfree’s growth trajectory and we are excited and proud to partner with the team as they execute their vision of transforming the Indian payments landscape and bringing digital payments to a wider audience.

 

About Cashfree, Inc.
Cashfree is the holding company for Cashfree Payments India Private Limited (https://www.cashfree.com/), a payments and banking technology company in India founded in 2015. The Company was processing over US$12bn annualised payment volume (Mar-20) and helps large internet and financial services businesses in India collect and disburse payments at scale. To simplify payment processing, Cashfree also provides auxiliary services including instant refunds, a split payment solution for marketplaces, subscription payments, payment pre-authorisation and bank account verification. Cashfree’s bulk disbursal solution, Payouts, helps businesses send money instantly to bank accounts, cards, UPI and wallets with a simple API that can be integrated with their products or ERP systems. Use cases for Payouts include vendor payouts, wage payouts, e-commerce refunds, insurance claims processing, loan disbursements, expense reimbursements, loyalty and rewards payments. Cashfree is the market leader in India for Payouts.

 

About Apis Partners LLP
Apis Partners LLP (www.apis.pe) is an ESGI-native global private equity asset manager that supports growth stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses by providing them with catalytic growth equity capital. Apis Partners LLP, through its team of close to 30 professionals with deep industry expertise, manages total committed capital from investors (including drawn and invested capital) of ca. US$ 1bn. Apis Partners LLP is highly conscious of the developmental impact that the provision of growth capital for financial services and financial infrastructure businesses in growth markets can achieve, and as such, financial inclusion is a core tenet of Apis Partners LLP’s approach and investment mandate.

 

For further details please contact:

Marcello Sala
Apis Partners LLP
marcello.sala@apis.pe

Elita Sequeira
Cashfree Payments India Private Limited
elita@cashfree.com

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