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Neobank Jupiter opens up platform for more users, to look at lending next

Jupiter is opening up its platform for users in an invite-only mode, and plans to onboard 1 million users in the next six months.

October 26, 2021 / 10:32 AM IST
Fintech veteran Jitendra Gupta

Fintech veteran Jitendra Gupta

After being in beta mode since June, fintech veteran Jitendra Gupta’s new neobank venture Jupiter said on October 25 that it is now opening up its platform to more users. However, new users will be taken on board on an invite-only basis.

Founded in 2019, Jupiter is a digital banking platform that allows users to open a bank account digitally, provides Visa debit cards and insights on spends by customers. The startup does not have a banking licence itself and operates in partnership with Federal Bank and Axis Bank.

Existing users can invite their acquaintances, others can request the existing community for access or try getting one of the limited invites on the app. The startup’s focus is salaried individuals in the age group of 18 to 35 years.

The platform aims to have one million users and add lending and deposit products in the next six months. Currently, 200,000 people have opened accounts and another 3,000 users are opening savings accounts every day on the app that saw over 1 billion deposit transactions in the last 30 days, the startup said.

“We are like a bank, so the basic expectation of a consumer from a bank is that we should have a deposit product and a lending product. These two are our immediate priorities and we will keep adding features on both these products,” said Gupta in an interaction with Moneycontrol.

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The startup, which possesses a non-banking financial company (NBFC) licence, plans to lend only to customers who are bank account holders through the platform. While the product is still months away from being launched, the credit requirements of these customers are expected to be in the range of Rs 10,000 to as high as Rs 3 lakh.

Jupiter plans to do the risk assessment and underwriting for these loans with its in-house team as well as using credit bureau scores. The company also has its Bullet product which allows customers to make all UPI-based payments in one go with a 15-day billing cycle.

Neobanks are a growing tribe with players like Open, RazorpayX, EpiFi, and Niyo competing with Jupiter. However, Gupta does not see this as a challenge.

“There are over 50 mainstream banks in India and all of those are doing very well on the retail side. If they all can do well, I am sure 10 neobanks can do well, too. So the market opportunity is very big,” Gupta said.

Jupiter is Gupta’s second startup after CitrusPay, which he sold to Naspers-owned PayU in 2016 in a $130-million deal and was recorded as one of the largest exits in the Indian fintech services ecosystem at the time.

In its last Series B funding round, Jupiter had raised $44 million led by Brazil’s Nubank Global Founders Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Matrix Partners India. The round was supplemented with a $10 million raise from US-based QED Investors.

The funding was done in a year that saw a boom in investments in the Indian startup space at every stage, leading to ballooning valuations. With a total of over $70 million raised until now, Gupta said the startup is adequately funded for the next two to three years.

“The market is crazy right now. There are all kinds of investors available in the world who want to figure out where to deploy their money. Raising money in this market is not a challenge, but we still have more than half of our first-round funding in the bank,” he explained.

Gupta had raised $25 million in a Series A round from investors like Sequoia, Matrix Partners, 3one4 Capital, former Tiger Global head honcho Lee Fixel and others while Jupiter was still in stealth mode.
Priyanka Iyer

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