Fintech start-ups are having the time of their lives during the pandemic, as the shift to online services has increased manifold. Platforms like Paypal, Paytm, PhonePe, and Google Pay have seen an unprecedented rise in their businesses, and this time, it is the young Razorpay that has made the headlines.
The Bengaluru-based start-up announced on Wednesday that they have set up an investment fund, MarsShot Ventures, focused on early-stage start-ups in India.
Harshil Mathur, co-founder, and CEO said that the eight-year-old firm has seen a lot of action in India’s start-up ecosystem, and many companies have reached out to the Razorpay team for guidance. The firm helps the companies which they find interesting with infusions of capital.
The investment fund has made around 15 investments — mostly consisting of pre-Series A and seed rounds—in start-ups across sectors, and includes in its portfolio companies include BimaPe, UrbanPiper, and Hashnode. It currently has eight operators, all senior executives of Razorpay, and is now on the lookout for an investment manager to manage the daily functions.
“With 15 startups in our portfolio, the size of our investments has grown, and we now feel it is time to make this a more structured venture,” Mathur said.
Razorpay’s valuation shot up to $3 billion this April after it led $160 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital and Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC. The round also included the participation of other existing investors Ribbit Capital and Matrix Partners.
It is not only Mathur or the other co-founder Shashank Kumar who will be leading the fund – they are joined by Razorpay CFO Arpit Chugh, Ayush Bansal, Chetty Arun, Shashank Mehta, Sagar Saxena, and Vishnu Acharya.
While the size of the fund or its target corpus was not mentioned, Mathur made sure to point out that MarsShots ventures operates as an entity separate from Razorpay and was not a part of the fintech start-up.
“As Razorpay has scaled from zero to $3 billion, we have gained experience which we believe can be shared with other founders who are starting their entrepreneurial journeys. It’s a side job that we all have contributed towards,” said Mathur.
The fintech start-up ecosystem is growing rapidly as more and more people resort to online modes. It is the golden period for Indian start-ups as a whole, as more than a dozen Indian firms have joined the unicorn family this year. This sector, thus, has attracted attention from several high-profile players, and today the Indian start-up ecosystem can boast of having prominent names among its angel investors, like Kunal Shah (founder, CRED), Amrish Rau (CEO, Pine Labs), Vijay Shekhar Sharma (CEO, Paytm) and Nithin Kamath (CEO, Zerodha).
Department of Information Technologies: https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-information-technologies/