Stripe backs India’s Clear in $75 million funding – TechCrunch

Just days after making its first investment in India Stripe made another one. Clear, a SaaS fintech company based in Bangalore, has been supported by one of the most successful startups in the world, Clear said Sunday evening.
ClearTax was a 10-year-old Indian startup that raised $75 million in Series C funding. Kora Capital led the round. The round included Stripe, Alua Capital and Think Investments as well as Stripe. This brings the total raise for the startups to more than $140 million. According to someone familiar with the matter, the new round values Indian startup at more than $700 million.

Clear, which counts Y Combinator and Sequoia Capital India among its earliest investors, assists individuals and businesses in filing their tax returns. Clear also offers wealth management advice for individuals and assists businesses with e-invoicing, credit and other financial services.

According to the startup, it serves over 6,000,000 people and 1,000,000 small and medium-sized business owners. It also boasts over 30,000 businesses that use its platform.

Clear founder Archit Gupta said that the startup's SaaS platform has grown five-fold in the last 18 months. Clear stated that it processes more than 10% of India's business invoices, an increase of 3% from 2016, and a GMV exceeding $400 billion.

Clear's marquee offering ClearTax was launched at a time when India e-filing wasn't as popular. The government regulations of the next years helped the startup get into a great position. For example, the government made electronic filing mandatory in the country five year ago.

However, India's 1.4 billion inhabitants pay very little taxes. Only 60 million Indians pay taxes. Clear has expanded its services to businesses, as well as expanded to include wealth management and credit.

Clear is a great partner for us as they are able to innovate at scale in India's SaaS ecosystem. This will enable enterprises and SMEs automate their workflows around invoicing and taxation.

Gupta stated that the startup will use the new funds to expand its offerings and also to expand internationally. Clear, already serving Middle East businesses, will soon expand to serve European businesses, he stated.

We are pleased to welcome Stripe, Kora and all other potential investors. He said that Kora is an expert in emerging market technology players and Stripe is a global tech company that creates economic infrastructure for the internet.

India is embarking on a huge digitisation journey. We are lucky to be in the perfect storm for electronic invoicing, GST and UPI, as well as cheap mobile internet, and rapid adoption of technology thanks to Covid-19. To help businesses with payments and collateral-free debt, we are increasing our SaaS platform. We also have the funding to expand internationally.

Stripe has not yet made significant inroads into India and Southeast Asia. Although it has teams in both regions, Stripe has not made inroads in any of them. It would be competing with YC, Sequoia Capital India-backed Razorpay if it decided to expand to the second largest internet market in the world. Razorpay was recently valued at $3B and received funds from Salesforce. Stripe, like Clear and Razorpay is also backed Y Combinator.

Sources claim that Stripe has already supported at least one other Indian startup.