Sachin Bansal’s fintech Navi seeks $2B valuation in its first major external fundraise

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal is in talks to raise capital for his new startup, Indian fintech Navi. Bansal is talking with investors to raise a valuation of around $2 billion, three sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. One source said he was seeking between $200 million and $400 million.

Bangalore-based startup Navi has been largely self-funded so far – Bansal owns 97% of the company – and this would be its first major outside fundraising since its founding in 2018.

The talks have not yet resulted in an agreement, so conditions as well as Bansal’s appetite for external funding could change, the sources warned. A Navi spokesperson declined to comment.

Navi, which offers its customers personal and home loans as well as health insurance, has experienced some financial twists and turns. Navi originally wanted to raise $440 million in a public listing, according to filings in 2022. However, with the IPO market down, the Bengaluru-based startup abandoned those plans later. last year.

Deliberations on financing This signals a significant change in the venture capital market in India, as well as an encouraging sign for fintech globally. After a particularly difficult 2023 in which overall startup funding fell 73% in the country, this could be a sign that growth stage funding rounds are back on the table.

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADIA is in talks to back Indian audio storytelling platform Pocket FM, TechCrunch reported last month. Indian eyewear brand LensKart, Temasek-backed consumer nutrition platform HealthKart and bike-taxi aggregator Rapido are also in talks to launch new growth cycles, India’s Economic Times reported on Thursday. Khazanah, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, is among the investors that Swiggy-backed Rapido has engaged with in recent weeks, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

India’s startup ecosystem saw a sharp decline in large fundraising rounds last year, as global investors including Tiger Global and SoftBank reduced their investments, while domestic venture capital firms focused on start-ups, according to a recent Bain report.

Regulatory actions taken by the Reserve Bank of India in recent years have also impacted startups issuing cards and loans, further spooking many investors in the fintech sector.

Under Bansal, Flipkart has been a pioneer for startups in India, raising billions of dollars from a long list of strategic and financial investors. He then left the startup in 2018 with a billion-dollar windfall and opted for a bootstrap approach for Navi, which he founded the same year.

While this could become Navi’s first external raise, that doesn’t mean Bansal hasn’t been talking with interested parties. As TechCrunch previously reported, the fintech spoke with potential investors, including SoftBank, ahead of its IPO filing. Those discussions have stalled after Navi’s banking license application was rejected by the country’s central bank, TechCrunch previously reported.

In recent quarters, Navi has narrowed its focus. It sold its microfinance unit Chaitanya India for $178.5 million in August as part of a “strategic plan to focus on our digital-first businesses”, Bansal said at the time.

In an interview published Tuesday by Indian newspaper Moneycontrol, Bansal said he would revive plans for an IPO, but only in “a few months, once we are ready.”

Bansal has also not given up on the idea of ​​turning Navi into a bank. “For now, I would say we have parked them, until we see that it is a possibility again in the future,” he told the Indian media. “Then we will resume when there is a green light from the regulator at the right time.”


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