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Exclusive: BharatPe chief business officer quits

Agarwaal was responsible for BharatPe’s lending business, where it is currently disbursing about Rs 30 crore a month to offline retailers and merchants - the bulk of the company's customer base.

June 18, 2020 / 12:15 PM IST

Pratekk Agarwaal, chief business officer at payments and lending firm BharatPe, has put in his papers, said two people aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

Agarwaal was responsible for BharatPe’s lending business, where it is currently disbursing about Rs 30 crore a month to offline retailers and merchants - the bulk of the company's customer base.

Agarwaal has been replaced by Nishant Jain, who joined last month from food delivery firm Zomato, where he was chief sales officer, the people cited above said.

Ashneer Grover, CEO of BharatPe, did not respond to an email seeking comment while Agarwaal declined to comment.

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Agarwaal left BharatPe less than a year after he joined from Ftcash, a startup which lends to small businesses.

BharatPe originally started out in 2018 as a QR-code aggregator, helping offline retailers accept payments via UPI for free.

Since mid-last year, it has also started lending to these merchants from its own non-banking arm Resilient Capital. Given that its core payment business does not make money, lending is also BharatPe’s shot at making money.

“The lending business is critical to BharatPe’s success, and they need a stable and experienced arm to handle the business. Agarwaal knew the lending business very well and was operationally strong. The company needs to have a long-term mindset to really succeed at lending,” said one of the people cited above.

BharatPe has been one of the fastest-growing payment startups in recent times and is already valued at $425 million, double its valuation six months ago. The barely-two-year-old startup has raised over $140 million in equity funding from investors such as Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, and hedge funds such as Steadview Capital and Coatue Management.

M. Sriram
first published: Jun 18, 2020 12:14 pm

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