Online stockbroking platform Upstox will join the unicorn club with a fresh round of funding led by US investment giant Tiger Global. Upstox valuation post this round is expected to be in the range of $3-3.5 billion, according to sources aware of the development.
According to regulatory filings, Tiger Global has invested Rs 185 crore or $24.7 million in Upstox. However, the total quantum of funds raised in the round is not yet known. Entrackr was the first to report on this development.
This makes Upstox the 40th unicorn to emerge in 2021, a year that has seen massive investor interest in startups with fintechs leading the way. A unicorn is any privately held entity with a valuation of $1 billion or above.
The company's last funding round of $25 million in 2019 was also led by Tiger Global. Since then the company has seen a steep increase in its user base led by the rising retail participation in the Indian stock markets. Upstox's other investors include Tata conglomerate's former chief Ratan Tata and Kalaari Capital.
Mumbai-based Upstox was founded in in 2009 as RKSV Securities by Shrini Viswanath, Raghu Kumar, Kavitha Subramanian and Ravi Kumar, the company entered retail broking in 2011 and rebranded to Upstox in 2016. The company competes with the likes of Zerodha, Groww, Paytm Money, Angel Broking, among others.
The space is seeing a rise in competition with new players like Raise Financial Services' platform Dhan and Fisdom vying to get a pie of the online trading market. The last company to turn unicorn in this space was Groww with two rounds of fund raise in 2021 taking its valuation to $3 billion.
In an interview with Moneycontrol on September 22, Upstox co-founder Shrini Viswanath had said that the company is looking to grow its customer base to 10 million by the end of FY22. In its next phase of growth, Viswanath had said that Upstox will look to go beyond just executing trades for customers.
“In the next 5-10 years, we want to become a wealth management platform. We are exploring everything – mutual funds, insurance, loans etc. We will look at fixed deposits and international trading first and then at other avenues," Viswanath had said.
Eighty percent of the company’s user base comes from Tier II and III markets. 70 percent of its customers are first-time investors, with 80 percent of them in the 18-35 age bracket.