Sachin Bansal’s Navi looks to vault into Unicorn Club

Sachin Bansal, who has bet his Flipkart fortune on Navi, is leading conversations with investors to raise money at a valuation north of $4 billion. The talks are still early, but the money is being raised with the hopes of a banking license coming through

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Pratik Bhakta

July 13, 2021

8 Min Read

Sachin Bansal is looking to vault into the Unicorn club as he plots a new round of funding for Navi Technologies, which he floated three years ago to build a digital-first bank. The cofounder of Flipkart, India’s largest online commerce venture now owned by Walmart, has approached investors seeking a valuation of over $4 billion for the fintech startup, said four sources directly briefed on the matter.

“There will likely be a consortium of investors but the talks are still early. The fundraising is likely to close in the next 2 months,” said one of them, adding that Bansal, who wants to establish a fully digital banking platform, is leading the fundraising effort.

After BharatPe and Centrum Finance recently secured a license to start a small finance bank, Bansal’s chances for a banking license appear high. “The bet is that he is a few months away from a banking license,” said another one of the sources, adding that there is no official word on the matter yet.

Navi was set to be valued at about $600 million when it was raising capital before the lockdown last year. The new fundraise can be structured so a large part of the corpus flows in once the banking license is finalised, said a third source briefed on the details.

“Otherwise he doesn’t need so much capital for Navi right now as he has already invested a large chunk of his own capital,” this person said. 

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