Google funded neobank Open becomes 100th Unicorn in India

100th Unicorn

India has 100 successful unicorns and Kerala got its first despite being headquartered outside the state. The Bengaluru-headquartered neobank Open has entered the 100th Unicorn club with a new round of funding. However, the five-year-old startup with roots in Kerala did not reveal the capacity of the Series D funding. According to unconfirmed reports, the funding amounts to $50 million. The overall valuation of Open amount of $1 billion was pumped by Mumbai-based IIFL. The current backers namely Tiger Global, Temasek, and 3one4 Capital also participated in the latest funding. To recall, the company announced its Series C funding at $500 million.

Open operates a neobank, which provides small and medium-sized businesses including enterprises all the features of the bank with additional tools. The aim of the product is to serve the requirements of customers. There are reports that millions of small businesses in India struggle with multiple bank accounts in addition to the maintenance of their daily spending.

The company has established partnerships with over dozen top banks in India. Moreover, the product has been used by more than 2.3 million businesses. According to estimates, Open processes over $30 billion worth transactions each year. The Kerala-grown startup has recently modified the business arrangement by providing the neobanking technology stack to banks in a white-label licensing.

Open is gearing up to launch three new products namely Fio, Settl, and Capital over the next few months. The company is planning to disburse $1 billion in lending via new products within the next one year.

According to Anish Achuthan, co-founder and chief executive of Open, they are excited to establish a partnership with IIFL and existing investors Tiger Global, Temasek, and 3one4 Capital for our series D round. He added that the new funding will help product team to launch new products. The rapid growth of Open has changed the relationship between banks and fintechs. The founders had a hard time to convince banks about the effectiveness of neobanks.

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The announcement by Open is considered as a major milestone for the Indian ecosystem. It’s difficult to enter 100th unicorn club and the company worked hard to achieve its objectives. The first unicorn was founded in 2012 with the evolution of adtech startup InMobi. The estimates revealed that over 60 Indian starup companies have entered the Unicorn club in 2021.

Anish was inspired by Hotmail founder Sabheer Bhatia during his college days. Even though Internet was not popular during that time, his aim was to become a successful entrepreneur like Bhatia. With this in mind, Anish headed over to Trivandrum. He stayed near Sreekanteskwaram temple area and Thampanoor railway station for several days. He used to visit an Internet cafe opposite Secretariat and completed a project related to a web portal. He had spent countless days inside the cafe. His friends used to give Anish breakfast and he used to take Lunch from Sreekanteskwaram Temple. The authorities supply free lunch for all people visiting the temple during a specific time. The moral of Anish story is that hard work brings in unlimited success. He would have never thought that his company will employ 500+ people.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com