Razorpay's Harshil Mathur (CEO and Co-Founder) and Shashank Kumar (CTO and Co-Founder)
In April, digital payments startup Razorpay’s valuation tripled to $3 billion after a Series E fundraise announcement of $160 million. This came barely six months after the company became a Unicorn. i.e. a startup with a valuation of $1 billion or above.
Since the Bengaluru-based company’s launch in 2014, co-founders Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar have diversified the business beyond just being a payment gateway. The Bengaluru-based startup now has a neo-banking platform RazorpayX, payroll and tax payment solutions, and also an SME lending arm Razorpay Capital.
The company’s co-founders Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar believe that the key for fintechs to succeed lies in collaboration with various ecosystem participants like banks, regulators and fellow startups and building open platforms to enable the joint efforts.
Razorpay’s Mathur and Kumar spoke on a panel moderated by Ishaan Mittal, Managing Director of Sequoia India at the Internet and Mobile Association of India’s (IAMAI) Global Fintech Fest 2021.
“Fintech is very hard to build in silos because there are so many moving parts, you need to have that openness as a platform that money can move from one platform to another seamlessly. That is something that we focused on right on day one,” Mathur explained.
Kumar pitched in, “Fintech is a very collaborative field, everyone has an important role to play. The kind of change that needs to be brought about, it's not a single-player job. It is heavily dependent on collaboration between all the stakeholders. A change that I have noticed is that everyone today is more open to collaboration – be it the banks or regulators or startups.”
“They are more open to understanding each other's strengths. I believe that that's the approach that works really well in India compared to other countries like China. Companies that do not figure out collaboration will over time get wiped out,” he added.
Mathur believes that despite a crowded payments market, there is still a lot of work to do in the payments space in India.
Mathur said, “While payments have grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years, there is still a lot of potential in India. It is still early days for the digitization of the ecosystem.”
He added that what helped Razorpay grow was a tech-first approach. “Innovation is a journey that takes a lot of effort and focus. But that is one thing that we have stayed true to. As we scale up from here, we believe that there's a lot more opportunity that is going to come online in the next couple of years. Far more than what has what is already online,” he said.
Transparency within the organization, too, helps build a strong startup, according to Kumar.
“Since day one we have had a very strong focus on a culture of transparency. We share with our people. We share with our people how the organization is doing, what our challenges and strengths are. That builds a very strong recognition in people and they feel part of the journey,” Kumar said.
Both Mathur and Kumar are alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. Razorpay is backed by investors GIC, Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Matrix Partners India, Y Combinator, besides various angel investors.