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Fintech Startup Uni Raises Rs 50 Crore Debt from Stride Ventures

Accel and Lightspeed-backed fintech startup Uni has raised Rs 50 crore in venture debt from Stride Ventures, one of India’s leading venture debt firms. Stride Ventures also plans to become a strategic partner of Uni through a debt investment, the venture debt firm said in a June 8 statement.

Uni, which also counts General Catalyst, Eight Roads and Elevation Capital as its backers, offers a credit card that automatically splits each transaction into three parts, paid for free over three months.

Uni, founded in 2020 by Nitin Gupta, Prateek Jindal and Laxmikant Vyas, will launch its flagship product Uni Pay 1/3rd Card, in June 2021. The fintech startup raised $70 million in a Series A round led by General Catalyst, Eight Roads, and Elevation Capital in December.

Uni claims to be active in over 130 cities in India, including all major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Jaipur. Uni also offers consumers the flexibility to convert transactions to “pay in full” at the 30-day free credit period and offers them 1% cash back as a reward.

Uni’s debt funding comes when equity funding for Indian startups is slowing. As a result, many startups, especially those that need cash to survive, are turning to offshore and venture debt. In a recent media interview, Gandhi had said that venture debt financing in 2021 has increased by 100% since 2020, while Stride Ventures pays Rs 100 crore per month.

Venture debt is essentially debt financing or loans raised by venture capital-backed companies. Many early-stage and high-growth startups use this route to avoid equity dilution.

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