CRED, the Bengaluru based Fintech startup has entered the Unicorn Club in 2021. Now worth $2.2 billion after its latest Series D funding round, CRED aims to capitalize on the expanding demand for credit cards in India.
Founded in 2018 by the Freecharge co-Founder Kunal Shah, CRED is an app that allows users to pay their credit Card bills online. On-time payments are rewarded with CRED Coins and Gems, and they can be redeemed via online shopping sites, movie theatres, coffee shops and other establishments.
CRED aims to be a smooth and trustworthy platform for credit Card users to keep track of and pay their dues on time. By rewarding responsible behaviour, they aim to incentivize customers to pay their dues on time and create rewarding platforms for both banks as well as cardholders. In a market like India where credit cards are on the rise, CRED can help bring up a healthy ecosystem from the get-go.
The Business Model
CRED only allows users with over 750 credit score to access their services. They also track your data, especially your financial data regarding your credit card, expenses, investments and so on. Companies that sign up to avail their services must also register with CRED. The app allows you to access, view and pay your credit card bills and have a user-friendly interface to facilitate the same.
They also have varied revenue streams, from CRED Pay, their Rentpay, Stores, listings etc. CRED collects a listing fee for stores to showcase their products on the platform. This is beneficial to companies as they can reach a diverse audience of credit card users. CRED Pay and Rentpay are payment services that allow users to pay via the app directly to shops or their landlords respectively. CRED Stores which provide exclusive and special products to users and CRED Stash, the digital lending service that provides users with a credit line are all ways for them to monetize their platform.
CRED has had multiple successful rounds of investments in the past, including its 2020 Series C funding which closed with a total investment of $86 Million. Worth $800 million at the time, it was already on its way to becoming a promising new venture. And in 2021, it became the sixth Indian startup to reach Unicorn status.
The latest Series D Funding rounds closed earlier this year and saw a much higher influx of investments. Raking in a total of $215 Million, the company is now valued at over $2.2 Billion. This round was led by a new backer in Falcon Edge Capital and its existing investor Coatue Management. Other firms such as Tiger Global, DST Global, Greenoaks and Dragoneer also participated in the Series D round. They are also offering their employees an ESOP Buyback opportunity, worth over $5 million in total.
In a future where credit Card usage is expected to surge, CRED is expected to be a mainstay among the users. Their premium users, reward systems and their many services make them a more attractive option over its competitors or other modes of payment.