A 20-month-old startup in India founded by a group of banking veterans that has built a mobile-first credit card and is improving the experience users have with credit cards has secured $10 million in a new financing round.
Pune-based FPL Technologies’ $10 million Series A financing round was funded by Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Hummingbird Ventures, Anurag Sinha, co-founder and chief executive of the startup, said in an interview with TechCrunch.
We wrote about FPL Technologies last year when the startup had closed a $4.5 million seed financing round. At the time, the startup had developed an app called OneScore that was helping people find and understand their credit score.
At the time, Sinha said that FPL Technologies was working on a credit card. In June this year, the startup launched its credit card, called OneCard.
More than 5,000 people across the country are currently using this metal-made credit card, which has been certified by Visa and a number of security firms, and over 75,000 people are on a waiting list to get it.
Banking veterans Vibhav Hathi, Anurag Sinha and Rupesh Kumar co-founded FPL Technologies last year (Image: FPL Technologies)
Its app, OneScore, has amassed over 2 million users. Scores of firms in India offer users the ability to find their credit score at no charge. But in return, they sell their customers’ info to other parties, which sets off a chain of events that ends with these users getting more than a dozen calls each month from firms -- usually their middlemen partners -- that offer credit cards and loans.
OneScore does not share its users’ data with anyone. Why it chooses not to do that explains what this startup is attempting to achieve: make customers’ experience with their credit card more delightful -- a concept that is almost unheard of for most credit card holders in India.
The startup has built a technology stack that makes common sense features such as transparency on transactions, the due date to pay the credit card bill and rewards more easily accessible.
“Their powerful, proprietary in-house tech-stack will define the future of digital consumer credit in India and this conviction has led to Sequoia India increasing its commitment in FPL,” said Shailesh Lakhani, managing director at Sequoia Capital India, in a statement.
The OneCard also does not charge customers any joining fee or annual fee. It allows customers to control the rewards they wish to avail. For instance, if your spending largely entails purchasing gadgets and ordering coffee online, you can set your OneCard to get 5X rewards on those two categories.
These categories are controlled by the customers and can be changed by switching a toggle on the mobile app. The app also lets users quickly lock their card, disable online or offline transactions with a few taps and supports contact-less payment -- a feature that has gained more popularity amid the global pandemic. Speaking of which, Sinha said customers' spendings are nearly back to the pre-coronavirus days.
FPL Technologies plans to use the fresh capital to bring its credit card to more users, said Sinha, and also expand its product offerings.
One product that he is exploring is making it possible for users to track all their subscriptions. Once that is live, the startup will work on creating bundles for some of these services that help users save money. He is hopeful that several companies, looking to aggressively expand into India, will be interested.