SoftBank Invests $250 Million in Fintech Startup Zeta in One of the Largest Single Investments in 2021

By Luigi Wewege Monday, May 24, 2021

Fintech startup company Zeta announced it closed a $250 million Series C business funding round led by SoftBank’s “Vision Fund 2,” along with participation from existing investor Sodexo.

Fintech concept.

SoftBank Doubles Down on Zeta

The latest funding takes business valuation of the fintech startup company to the unicorn territory at $1.45 billion, up from $300 million reported in 2019.

Zeta is a fintech startup company that developed a technology stack, which allows it to connect with other fintech companies, banks, and other online consumer platforms. Zeta and its rivals are striving to help innovate the system as most banks today are still using outdated technology and software.

“Most banks are using decades old software built at a time when Mainframes and Cobol were in vogue. They have been slow to innovate and provide poor user experiences. With Zeta, FIs can leverage a modern, cloud native platform and improve speed to market, agility, cost to income ratio and user experience,” said Bhavin Turakhia, Zeta’s chief executive officer.

Zeta provides its cloud-based API and SDKs to banks to launch credit and debit cards, give out loans, and improve customer experience in general.

“Any financial service you can think of, Zeta provides it today,” Bhavin adds. For him, it is a “privilege” to have SoftBank invest in the startup.

The fintech startup company currently has business partnerships with 10 banks and 25 financial technology companies. Zeta plans to use the new business proceeds to expand its client base and hire more employees.

Sodexo, one of Zeta’s biggest clients and also a business investor in the fintech startup, is a world-leading Issuer of Employee Benefits & Rewards with more than 30 million users around the globe.

Zeta represents one of the biggest single investments for SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and the latest major bet on India-based startups. The investing business is also close to making a $500 million investment in food delivery startup company Swiggy and is in talks with SaaS startup WhatFix.

The banking company is the 14th India-based startup to enter the unicorn territory in 2021 after venture capital giants including Tiger Global, Falcon Edge, and SoftBank made a series of business investments in the world’s second-largest internet market this year.

“Banking software is a $300 billion industry globally. Most banks still employ technology which is significantly older than their customers, impacting user experience and engagement,” said Munish Varma, a managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Varma also said he believes the company’s fintech technology will help drive banking software upgrades catering to the digital customer, as well as bring innovations in financial services globally.

The banking tech startup is the third Bhavin co-founded after starting business messaging app Flock and Radix.

Zeta was co-founded in 2015 by its CEO Bhavin Turakhia and CTO Ramki Gaddipati. The startup has developed a sophisticated Omni Stack, which allows modern credit and debit processing, by now pay later, as well as core banking and mobile experiences. The fintech company now has more than 750 employees.

Summary

Indian fintech startup company Zeta raised $250 million in a Series C business funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. The new round took Zeta’s business valuation to $1.45 billion, producing yet another unicorn in the country.

About the Author


Headshot for author Luigi Wewege

Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President, and Head of Private Banking at Caye International Bank. Outside of the bank, he serves as an Instructor at the FinTech School which provides online training courses on the latest technological and innovation developments within the financial services industry. Luigi is also the published author of: The Digital Banking Revolution.

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