Indian neobanking platform Zeta inches towards $300m valuation

24 Jul 2019164 Views

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Zeta provides a platform for dealing with employee tax benefits, automated cafeterias, employee gifting and digital payments.

This week, the founders of Indian neobanking platform Zeta said that the company has received external investment for the first time since it was launched in 2015. This reportedly brings the company’s valuation close to $300m.

The fintech firm was founded by Bhavin Turakhia, who now acts as the company’s CEO, and Ramki Gaddipati, who serves as CTO.

Zeta, which is headquartered in Bangalore, offers digitised enterprise solutions for employee tax benefits, automated cafeterias, employee gifting and digital payments. The company expects to have 2.5m users by the end of 2019.

Turakhia, who is a billionaire and entrepreneur, co-founded a number of other companies, which he exited in a $160m transaction in 2014 before setting his sights on the world of fintech.

Gaddipati was previously CEO of software company Bridle Information and Technology Solutions, which focused on creating mobile apps in education and healthcare aimed at the Indian market. His work here saw him named one of Asia’s five best entrepreneurs under the age of 25, in a list compiled by Bloomberg in 2006.

External funding

Up until now, Zeta had been funded by its co-founders, who claim to have pumped $40m into the company since it was founded.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Turakhia said that the latest investment – an unknown sum, estimated to be less than $60m – was the first boost the company received from an outside party.

In this round, French employee benefits company Sodexo contributed funding, taking a minority stake in the company. Due to regulatory guidelines, Sodexo cannot share details of the amount it has invested in Zeta, according to India Times.

Sodexo’s CEO, Aurélien Sonet, commented: “Sodexo has been a strategic partner of Zeta since 2017. This investment will enable the Sodexo group to benefit from Zeta’s comprehensive suite of solutions and offer a seamless payment experience to our consumers. Zeta and Sodexo are already working together on deploying Zeta’s platform across several Sodexo subsidiaries across different regions.”

Turakhia told India Times that the company will also be “hiring presidents for various markets over the next six to 12 months” and hopes to double its engineering team to accelerate expansion.

With 450 employees at present, Zeta has more than 14,000 clients, including Amazon and a number of banks. The company will use this new funding to expand business to the US, the UK, Europe and south-east Asia.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com