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BharatPe Sees Huge Growth Amid Boardroom Battle with Ashneer Grover; Plans to List in 2 Yrs

Fintech firm BharatPe has posted 2x growth in the financial year ended March 31 and plans to list on stock exchanges within the next two years. With the current pace of growth, the company may cover up losses and achieve a break-even going forward.

It has said that comparing month-on-month, all metrics of the company have grown at a record pace. Merchant total payments value (TPV) has risen 17 per cent, consumer TPV 39 per cent, loans facilitated 31 per cent, and revenue 21 per cent in March 2022 as compared with the preceding month, the company said.

Its annualised TPV has grown 2.5x to USD 16 billion in 2021-22 as compared with the previous financial year. Annualised TPV is payments through point of sales stood at USD 4 billion.

On the BharatPe-Ashneer Grover controversy, its CEO Suhail Sameer has told news agency PTI: “While the board will take a call on what to do with the money allegedly defrauded by co-founder (and former MD) Ashneer Grover, his priority is the firm’s employees so that they stay focused and teams remain stable.”

He said TPV of the company, which allows shop owners to make digital payments through QR codes, has increased 2.5x y-o-y to USD 16 billion in the financial year 2021-22. Its PoS (point of sale) business has also grown 2x from last year with over 1.25 lakh POS machines deployed. “We do USD 4 billion transactions on it, as of March.”

Sameer said the company is on track towards break-even. BharatPe is now in 225 cities (more than 2x growth from last fiscal) and has over 8 million merchants onboard (up from 5 million in FY21 that ended on March 31, 2021).

Earlier, in an interview with CNBC-TV18, he said the whole Ashneer Grover-BharatPe was a case of an employee going bonkers, which can happen in many companies, and that the company is taking steps to ensure such incidents do not repeat.

On the plans ahead, Sameer has said the organisation now plans to launch only two-three products a year, instead of two products every quarter. “But, launching products that are really impactful for the consumer, help merchants and keep it narrow. We decided to not try to become a super app like some of our competitors but have three-four product offerings.”

The BharatPe CEO has also said the unicorn start-up wants to launch only two products in the next one year. “One is auto loans and secondly, we want to help merchants acquire customers.”

On the UPI business, he has said it is a “customer acquisition funnel”. It’s a weird business, where no company makes any revenue. “Because the use cases for all apps are very different. Paytm is a bit in our space and a bit in the consumer space, so maybe I can call them competition. But others are not.”

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