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BharatPe Success Story: One QR Code for All Payment Apps | Zero Charges | No Limit

Company Profile is an initiative by ListMyStartUp to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by BharatPe.

Suffering from code-based payments? At times servers go down and you are unable to make your payment, right? Merchants, retailers, customers, and myriad other businesses and businessmen often suffer from such issues. Embracing digital payment methods is not always smooth though it appears to be most often.
Anyways, now with BharatPe, you can approach your digital payment requirements easily and conveniently without any hassles. Read the BharatPe success story brought out by StartupTalky, which includes the Founders and Team, Business Model, Revenue Model, Funding and Investors, Growth, Competitors, Tagline, Slogan and Logo, Recent News of the brand, and more!

Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Bharatpe
  • Headquarters-Delhi, India
  • Sector-Fintech
  • Founders-Bhavik Koladiya, Shashvat Nakrani
  • Founded-April 2018
  • Total Funding-$720 mn (January 2022)
  • Revenue-$93.33 mn (Rs 700 crore in FY21)
  • Valuation-$3 bn (January 2022)
  • CEO-Suhail Sameer
  • Website-bharatpe.com

BharatPe - About

  • BharatPe is a QR code-based payment app for offline businessmen and retailers. The company has its headquarters in New Delhi, but there are around 5 more offices of BharatPe across the country. The app, which allows its users to accept UPI payments for free through the BharatPe QR code, is hugely beneficial for the small merchants and kirana stores and their owners. Along with offering easy and interoperable QR codes for effortless UPI payments, BharatPe also extends Bharat Swipe (POS machine) for card acceptance and small business financing. Furthermore, the company also offers merchant loans of up to Rs 7 lakhs that can be availed for a duration of 3 to 12 months.
  • BharatPe also owns a peer-to-peer lending platform called 12% Club. BharatPe also launched the Digital Gold product in 2020. This will allow the users to transact for 24-carat gold with 99.5% purity.
  • The BharatPe app powered by efficient QR code payments helps its users to sign in immediately, and instantly start receiving the funds in their bank account. BharatPe started with a mission to make payments free for all its users. Its intention is to help all.

BharatPe - Founders and Team

  • BharatPe founders were Ashneer Grover, Bhavik Koladiya, and Shashvat Nakrani. However, with Ashneer's resignation dated February 28, 2022, BharatPe listed Bhavik and Shashvat as its Co-founders. Bhavik Koladiya resigned, months after Ashneer Grover was terminated, as per reports dated August 2, 2022.  

Bharatpe Founders

Shashvat Nakrani (left) and Ashneer Grover (right) 

BharatPe was initially founded by Shashvat Nakrani and Bhavik Koladiya, each of whom owned 50% of the company shares. It was Koladiya, who served as the face of the company, and negotiated with the investors for funding. Then, Ashneer Grover joined in June 2018, 3 months later. He was the third founder of BharatPe. However, with Grover joining the company, BharatPe's shareholding structure changed. It then granted Grover a 32% stake, Nakrani a 25.5% stake, and Koladiya held the largest stakes (42.5%).  

However, Koladiya's name went missing from the founder's list of BharatPein December 2018, before Sequoia came onboard. This is because the investors refrained from investing in a company whose co-founder was convicted in a US court in 2015. Koladiya was involved previously in a credit card fraud. Since then, Ashneer Grover was made the face of the company. 

Ashneer Grover

  • Ashneer Grover served as the MD and the Co-founder of BharatPe until he resigned from the company and relinquished his position in it on February 28, 2022. Ashneer is from South Delhi, India, and a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He was once the new head of new business at PCJ. Furthermore, he headed Corp Dev for Amex India. He was also previously appointed as the CFO of Grofers.
  • Ashneer Grover had been in the news after his voice matched with a caller who reportedly hurled abusive language and was thoroughly threatening and ill-tempered while talking with a Kotak Wealth Management employee over the failure to secure financing for Nykaa’s initial share sale. Grover had then been asked by the company, BharatPe's board, to take a voluntary absence for two months on January 19, 2022. However, this was not due to his telephone controversy but due to a bigger financial fraud to which he was allegedly connected. Grover was then put on a mandatory leave of absence. This did not only concern Grover but also his wife Madhuri and five others. His wife, Madhuri Jain Grover was also put on leave amidst the government probe. According to the recent news dated February 19, 2022, Madhuri Jain denied that she had tendered any resignation. The board had also then admitted that it never sought any resignation from Madhuri Jain. The wife of the beleaguered ex-co-founder Ashneer Grover had been later asked by the BharatPe Board to stay on compulsory leave of absence instead from January 10th onwards. Madhuri Jain Grover, the wife of Ashneer Grover, who had headed the Controls at BharatPe, was finally terminated from her services due to financial irregularities, as per reports dated February 23, 2022. This termination meant that she had to part with her stakes in the company due to "misappropriation of finances".
  • Madhuri Jain on one occasion after her termination, accused the company co-founder Bhavik Koladiya and CEO Suhail Sameer of merry-making inside the office premises, saying that both of them, along with Shashvat Nakrani, can indulge in their "drunken orgies" without her in the office, while referring herself as a "righteous lady." Furthermore, Madhuri Jain Grover also took a jab at the BharatPe Board of Directors, where she termed them "male chauvinists" along with accusing them of "objectifying women".
  • The Founder and MD Ashneer Grover was on the radar of the news and media for a long time. This was not only for the lowering standards and the toxic culture that Bharatpe exhibits, neither it was related to the rude behavior of Ashneer on the Shark Tank show or on the call with a Kotak employee, which Ashneer tried to convince as fake, the financial misconduct seemed a really big thing, which was under scrutiny on behalf of the Board. The figure for the misconduct was reported to be in double-digit crores, as per the reports and the return of Grover to his position or back to the office seemed like a remote possibility. Yes, the reports that BharatPe will likely fire Grover, were ripe since the end of January 2022, according to close sources. BharatPe had appointed Alvarez & Marsal, a risk advisory firm to conduct an independent audit of the startup’s internal processes and systems on January 31, 2022. Reports also confirmed that Ashneer Grover approached legal aid in the form of Karanjawala & Co., a law firm from Delhi NCR, to secure his position in the company and keep his shareholding of 9.5% intact in the firm.
  • The Ex-Co-founder and MD of Bharatpe, then demanded Rs 4000 crore from the investors to buy him out, which implied that he needs to be paid a fair market value for his 9.5% stake in the company at a valuation of around $6 billion. "Either I’ll run the company or they buy me out; there is no third option,” said Ashneer. However, as the events unfolded, the rejection of his arbitration pleas by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the key investors turned down Ashneer Grover's offer of selling out his 9.5% stakes in the company, he had to leave the organization. According to the BharatPe board, the resignation of the Founder and MD came minutes after he received the Board meeting's agenda, which will include the PWC report submission containing the conduct of Grover and the actions that will be taken against him. However, even while he resigned from the company, the former MD and Co-founder of Bharatpe claimed that he would continue to be the “single largest individual shareholder of the company.”
  • The Ex-BharatPe Founder and MD has recently disclosed that it has registered a new company where both he and his wife, will be Directors. The company has reportedly been registered as Third Unicorn Private Limited, which they registered on July 6, 2022, with dreams of raising another unicorn company, as per Tofler reports.
  • Shashvat Nakrani has recently taken a dig at the Ex-Co-founder and MD Ashneer Grover, by stating that the latter has created a false narrative about the company. This is one of the few occasions where Nakrani has spoken openly about anything. Shashvat had earlier backed BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer when Grover remarked that he should be expelled from the company. Nakrani has also added that now that they have ended the boardroom fiasco, they should focus on building while staying careful about keeping the culture of the company untainted.
Bhavik Koladiya

  • Bhavik Koladiya is another Co-founder of BharatPe, who is popularly known as the Group Head - Product and Technology.
  • Bhavik Koladiya faced disagreements with the present BharatPe management, primarily Suhail Sameer (CEO of BharatPe), which is why he resigned from the company, allegedly on the last week of June 2022.
  • Koladiya is technically still the single-largest shareholder of the company because a portion of Bhavik Koladiya's stakes (3.5%) is with Ashneer and another part (2.25%) is with Shashvat. Koladiya still owns nearly 5.75% of BharatPe's stakes.
Shashvat Nakrani

  • Shashvat Nakrani is also the Co-founder of BharatPe. He is an IIT Delhi student, batch 2015-19, who got a bachelor's degree in Textile Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. His hometown is Bhavnagar, India.
  • Suhail Sameer is currently the CEO of BharatPe, which presently operates with 201-500 employees.
  • BharatPe has appointed an Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) executive as the interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the fintech startup, confirmed Chairman Rajnish Kumar, as per reports dated April 2, 2022. Nalin Negi would be appointed as the CFO of the company, as of June 8, 2022 reports. Nalin Negi, who previously served as the CFO of SBI Cards and Payment Services, has been appointed as the first BharatPe Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Negi would report to the BharatPe chief Suhail Sameer and would be working closely with the BharatPe Board to spearhead the finance function and make the company EBITDA positive by March 2023.  
  • The Chief Revenue Officer of BharatPe, Nishit Sharma, and Chandrima Dhar, the Head of Debt of BharatPe, both exited the company, as per news dated June 8, 2022. The resignation of Satyam Nathani, one of the founding members is also confirmed on June 11, 2022. It's not just the top-level employees of BharatPe, who are resigning, the other employees too, are flooding the job market with their job applications because of the lack of trust in the operational abilities of BharatPe. To check with the top-level employees of BharatPe who submitted their resignations the past month - Satyam Nathani is an IIT Delhi dropout and the man behind the pilot of BharatPe QR codes, PostPe, and 12% Club. He was one of the founding members of the company. Nishit Sharma was the CRO of BharatPe, who is an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus and a CFA by profession. Chandrima Dhar was the Head of the Institutional Debt Tem of BharatPe, who is an alumnus of Lancaster University and MDI.  
  • BharatPe appointed its Chief Data Scientist, Ritesh Srivastava, as confirmed by the reports dated July 21, 2022. Ritesh was previously at Novartis as the Associate Director of Data Science, Digital and Advanced Analytics. Ritesh Srivastava brings more than 13 years of experience in senior data and technology leadership positions.  

BharatPe - How Does It Work?

  • As you all know almost all the merchants spend more time on the app BharatPe. In only this way the company increases its amount to about $2000. Lending businesses are always crucial no matter it's small ones or big ones. So, BharatPe's lending business is also crucial like the others.
  • It operates an eponymous service to help all offline merchants. However, such kind of payment apps nearly makes no money by enabling free transactions on their platforms. Those processing UPI payments can not even charge a small commission to merchants. The BharatPe login and interface are also easy to use. BharatPe credit card can also be created after the merchant account.

BharatPe - Name, Tagline and Logo

  • The tagline of the company is 'Ab se Dukandar is king'. It also says 'Apne Parivar Aur Shop Ko Rakhe Insured. It has launched India's first UPI Bahi Khata for merchants. It's the first Fintech startup in India enabling merchants to pay offline. The BharatPe logo is the property of the trademark owners.

BharatPe - Business Model

  • The BharatPe business is an Indian QR code-based payments company that operates on a B2B2C model because it helps the customers as well as the merchants or shop owners/retailers and other businessmen/women. The company's app accepts payments from 100+ mobile apps downloaded in the Indian mobiles on India's UPI system by offering businesses a single interoperable QR sticker.
  • The QR can be scanned and then payments are accepted from all renowned mobile apps such as PayTm, WhatsApp, Mobikwik, Amazon Pay, BHIM, Google Pay, Freecharge and TrueCaller. Retailers also get immediate credits for transactions made in their bank accounts on the same day.
  • In 2021, the cricketers Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shubhman Gill were signed as BharatPe brand ambassadors.

12% Club

  • BharatPe has partnered with the NBFCs, which are approved by the RBI, to launch the 12% Club, the first-of-its-kind investment, consumer lending, and borrowing app. The 12% Club app is a significant step forward into the consumer space for BharatPe and will be a huge benefit for the customers with which:
  • Consumers can invest and earn up to 12% of annual interest without any lock-in period.
  • They can borrow at a competitive interest rate of 12%.
  • Customers can borrow up to Rs 10 lacs through this app.
  • They can also avail of loans up to Rs 10 lacs without any collaterals for a tenure of up to 3 months
  • Furthermore, they can also withdraw their money, partially or wholly anytime and anywhere.
  • There will be no processing or pre-payment charges for the loans via this platform.
  • The customers can start their investments with as low as Rs 1000 and receive daily credit of interest.
  • BharatPe is looking forward to achieving an AUM of $100 million and a lending AUM of $50 million from the 12% Club app by the end of the present fiscal.

BharatPe - Revenue Model

  • The BharatPe revenue model depends on providing its consumers with a digital payments platform and also has got a separate app for its merchant friends where the company credits them for their transactions digitally as mentioned above. It actually sails for providing credits to the merchants with cheaper interests.
  • The company counts on the interdependent cyclical connection of credit and application usage to boost the revenue on its platform. For a startup company like BharatPe it's important for them to focus especially on the merchant side of their business.

BharatPe - Funding And Investors

  • BharatPe funding has raised a total amount of $720 Million in over 12 rounds it has witnessed. The company is looking to raise Rs 1,300 crores in debt ahead.
  • BharatPe has raised an investment of $370 million from Tiger Global Management LLC along with other existing investors like Dragoneer Investment Group, Coatue Management, and Ribbit Capital on August 4, 2021. With this, the fintech startup's valuation has catapulted to $2.85 billion, thereby becoming the 19th unicorn of 2021. Furthermore, this fundraising has also listed BharatPe as one of the Top 5 most valued Fintech startups in India.
  • In the last debt financing round of October 25, 2021, BharatPe successfully raised Rs 100 crores ($13.32 million) from MAS Financial Services Pvt Ltd. The company will use this fund to strengthen its merchant lending vertical. BharatPe is planning to raise around $250 million worth of debt raise by the end of FY22.

BharatPe - Growth and Revenue

  • The BharatPe news and recent studies say that the company is growing rapidly and presently it's the 4th largest player in the UPI portion after Google Pay, PhonePe, and PayTm. And the company has achieved this growth by spending very little money on it. BharatPe is in the 3rd spot in the private POS category. The platform has introduced the digital gold product on its platform for merchants in association with Safegold, which is called BharatPe Gold scheme.

BharatSwipe

  • It launched BharatSwipe, its disruptive card payment acceptance machine in the latter half of 2020. BharatSwipe is a zero rental Swipe machine, which is the first of such systems that India has seen, and therefore, it received an overwhelming response right from its inception. The overall business of BharatPe received a huge boost with the introduction of BharatSwipe. The network of the POS business (BharatSwipe) has grown by 25X and has been made available to over 250 cities in the last 12 months, as confirmed by a BharatPe PR dated March 14, 2022. The BharatPe PR also mentioned that the company has already been successful in deploying 1.25 lakh+ BharatSwipe machines across offline shops. BharatPe has achieved such a feat in a short span of around 1.5 years, which is really laudable and can be hailed as a remarkable scale-up of the POS business.

Gold loans for merchant partners

  • Bharatpe forayed into the secured gold loans segment by announcing the launch of gold loans for its merchant partners on March 14, 2022. The fintech company collaborated with RBI-approved NBFCs to offer gold loans up to Rs. 20 lacs. Furthermore, the rates of gold loans by BharatPe will be competitive to the core at 0.39%. BharatPe has already started offering Gold Loans for its merchants in Delhi NCR, Bangalore, and Hyderabad and is planning to scale this to 20 cities by the end of this year, 2022. The company has also disclosed its plans to facilitate Rs. 500 crores in disbursals by the end of 2022.

Loan Application Process for the merchants

  • If you are wondering about the loan application process, then the process to apply for loans will be completely digital. Here the merchants applying for loans would be able to view the best offers for them and then apply for the gold loans via the BharatPe app. These loans will be disbursed within 30 minutes after the assessment process of BharatPe is completed. The Suhail Sameer-led fintech company is offering a branch collection facility and a doorstep service as well, all of which are in partnership with the NBFC partners. The merchants would be able to opt for loans for a duration of 6, 9, and 12 months and can repay them via Easy Daily Instalments (EDI). As per the PR dated March 14, 2022, BharatPe "will also be launching the EMI option for repayment shortly." The QR code-enabled offering of BharatPe gold loans will help ease the gold loan application process and will make it possible with minimal paperwork.
  • Furthermore, it has also helped the company scale up its business rapidly and contributed around 20% to the overall payments Transaction Processed Value (TPV) of the company. BharatPe has installed over 1 lac BharatSwipe machines across 16 cities in the country that supports transactions of over Rs. 1400 crores every month. Furthermore, it has also received an overwhelming response from small merchants across segments including Kirana store owners, restaurant owners, and entrepreneurs with 4-5 outlets.
  • BharatPe was valued at $922 million in February 2021, from where it turned into a unicorn on August 4, 2021, when it raised around $370 million in its Series E round from Tiger Global Management, Dragoneer Investment Group, Coatue Management, where it was valued at $2.85 billion. This remarkable episode of growth can sum up that the company witnessed a three-fold jump in its valuation within just six months. BharatPe is now a unicorn, the 19th unicorn startup in 2021, as reported on August 4, 2021, and is counted among the Top 5 most valued Fintech startups in India.
  • The lending vertical of BharatPe has exponentially increased over the last 1.5 years. The company has already been successful in disbursing over $300 million in unsecured loans to 2 lac+ merchant partners, with an outstanding loan book of over $100 million.
  • Furthermore, the company has been estimated to have boarded around 24 lac+ merchant members on its platform, when reported towards the end of FY20. This came at a cost though. The merchant acquisitions relied heavily on customer acquisitions and brand development, which includes advertising and promotional activities, thereby resulting in shooting up expenses to Rs 43.2 crore during FY20, which was only at Rs 4.8 crore in FY19, a surge of  9X.

BharatPe Revenue Breakdown

  • Looking at the BharatPe revenue, the company seems to have witnessed a surge in it. BharatPe's revenue from operations surged by 20X to become Rs 119.1 crore during FY21, which was last recorded at Rs 5.96 crore in FY20.

BharatPe Expenses Breakdown

  • The annual expenditure of BharatPe saw around an 895.3% jump, which rose to Rs 229.12 crore during FY20 from Rs 23.02 crore in FY19. This actual expenditure further ballooned to stand at Rs 462.03 crore during FY21, which was recorded at Rs 229.16 crore. The transaction processing charges stand as the largest cost centre for the company, which surged by 423.6% at Rs 97.50 crore, making for 21.1% of the annual costs of BharatPe in FY21. Here's a look at that and the expenses side, as a whole, of BharatPe in the same fiscal:

BharatPe - Competitors

BharatPe competitors are:

  • Google Pay
  • PayTm
  • PhonePe
  • albo
  • MobiKwik

BharatPe vs albo

  • BharatPe is a fintech company that operates a QR-based payment app for offline retailers and businesses headquartered in New Delhi with Twitter followers of 4.4k whereas albo is a mobile banking app that helps its users to manage their money headquartered in Mexico with Twitter followers of 4.9k.

BharatPe vs PhonePe

  • BharatPe did merchant transactions worth $76 million and PhonePe did it at worth $1 billion including UPI and cards.
  • PhonePe thinks that BharatPe did cheat their name and they went to the court about the matter. The case is still on. Researches say that BharatPe is better than PhonePe especially due to its QR code payment system.

BharatPe vs PayTm

  • BharatPe and PayTm both are having almost the same features. They both provide loans after the users complete a certain amount of transaction limit. Both are fully loaded with certain sorts of interesting features, which attract people a lot. PayTm often gives different kinds of offers such as buy 1 get 1 free, etc. Experts say that PayTm is way better than BharatPe because it has got fewer complaints than what BharatPe has.

BharatPe - Future Goals

  • The company desired something new and it launched a button named Paisa Bolega in 2020. This button converts the shopkeeper's phone into a loudspeaker, announcing the value of the transaction received loudly.
  • BharatPe says that there will be rising demands of the shopkeepers, so, to develop their app further and to uplift its performance is their next plan. The company also disbursed around Rs 140 crores recently. The founder of the company said that there has been no development in the loan demand of the shopkeepers recently and so they plan to move forward with it and they think that rental payments and stocking up for inventory payments will soon rise.
  • BharatPe announced its future plans of scaling up its POS business via a PR dated July 15, 2021. BharatPe, which now stands 3rd when it comes to private POS solutions, plans to expand its POS business, BharatSwipe by 3x. Eyeing growth, BharatPe is aiming to reach $ 6 billion in annualized TPV by the end of FY22. The company is further looking to widen its overall reach by 5x and make BharatSwipe popular across 80 cities in India by the end of the next financial year.
  • BharatPe is looking forward to scaling up its lending vertical aggressively and achieving around 10x growth in lending by FY23.
  • The Delhi-based firm was near to crossing the $14 billion mark in annualized total payment value, when last reported in October 2021. BharatPe is now working to ramp up to about $30 billion TPV by March 2023. “Our plan is to build a lending book of about Rs 40,000 crore ($5 billion) in five years,” said the CEO of BharatPe, Suhail Sameer.

FAQs

What is BharatPe app?

  • A pioneer in UPI payments and digital money lending for merchants. It is a payment solution application exclusively designed for merchants that can accept payments from any UPI payment app through a single BharatPe QR Code.

Who are BharatPe founders?

  • BharatPe founders initially were Ashneer Grover, Bhavik Koladiya, Shashvat Nakrani. However, Ashneer Grover resigned from the company on February 28, 2022, and relinquished his designation of Co-founder and Managing Director of the firm. Now, Bhavik Koladiya also resigned, as per reports dated August 2, 2022, after facing disagreements with the BharatPe CEO, Suhail Sameer.

Is BharatPe a government company?

  • No. BharatPe is a private fintech company.

Who is the owner of BharatPe?

  • The former Co-founders Ashneer Grover, Bhavik Koladiya, and Shashvat Nakrani, combinedly hold around 20% of the BharatPe stakes. With over 5.75% stakes owned by Bhavik Koladiya, he is the single largest shareholder of BharatPe.

What is BharatPe Balance?

  • BharatPe Balance gives the user information on their daily QR collections, balance in investment account, and their available loan limit.

How does BharatPe earn money?

  • The holding entity of BharatPe, Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd, and its lending operations have been successful in earning a revenue of Rs 5.96 crore during FY20, in contrast to FY19, when they failed to earn any operating revenue. This income was mainly generated by the small ticket unsecured loans, which are offered to the merchants, and on the collection of commissions on transactions.

Is BharatPe safe to invest in?

  • Yes, it is safe to invest in BharatPe, as a lot of people use the app on a daily basis.

Is BharatPe Profitable?

  • BharatPe declared that it had incurred an annual loss of Rs 216.32 crore, which ballooned by 9.4X from Rs 23.02 crore that it witnessed in FY19. The EBITDA margin of BharatPe was reported to be -1684.4% during FY20. BharatPe earned Rs 6 crore worth of annual revenue after spending Rs 229 crore in FY20. So, clearly, the company is not profitable, at least now.

How to delete BharatPe account?

  • To delete the BharatPe account, a user can go to Settings, and then select the Deactivate account option.