Cashfree - The Indian Payment Gateway Disruptor
Cashfree is a payments and banking technology company that provides a full-stack payments solution to businesses in India. Founded in 2015 by two friends, Akash Sinha, and Reeju Datta, the company has quickly become one of the most successful fintech startups in India, with a range of services that includes a payment gateway, split payments, virtual accounts, and bulk payouts.
The idea for Cashfree was born out of the founders' experiences as freelancers, where they often faced difficulties receiving payments from clients. This led them to realize the need for a simpler and more streamlined payment system to help businesses of all sizes manage their finances more effectively.
To make this vision a reality, Akash and Reeju built a platform to facilitate easy, secure, and quick online payments. They started by developing a payment gateway that could seamlessly integrate with different e-commerce platforms and allow merchants to accept customer payments in multiple ways, including credit/debit cards, net banking, UPI, and wallets.
Through their hard work and persistence, the duo managed to secure seed funding of $120,000 from Y Combinator in 2017, which helped them to scale up their operations and attract more clients. Today, Cashfree serves over 50,000 businesses across India, including major names like Zomato, CRED, Xiaomi, HDFC Ergo, and more.
Cashfree has continued to innovate and expand its offerings over the years, with new products like bulk payouts and virtual accounts that enable businesses to manage their finances more efficiently. The company has also partnered with major banks like HDFC, ICICI, and Axis Bank to offer customers instant settlements and other value-added services.
Despite stiff competition from established players like Paytm, Razorpay, and Instamojo, Cashfree has managed to carve out a niche in the Indian payments market through its focus on simplicity, speed, and security. The company has been recognized for its achievements with multiple awards, including the Best Fintech Startup Award at the Entrepreneur India Awards 2019 and the Payments Innovation Award at the ET BFSI Awards 2020.
Cashfree has ambitious plans to expand its footprint beyond India and become a global leader in the payments and banking space. With its talented team, innovative products, and unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, the company is well-positioned to achieve its goals and impact the world of fintech.
Cashfree started focusing on providing payment gateway solutions for businesses as it grew. It released Cashfree Payment Gateway in 2017, which allows businesses to accept payments online through various modes such as credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and UPI. The company also introduced Cashfree Payouts, a platform enabling businesses to bulk send payouts to their employees, vendors, and customers.
In 2018, Cashfree raised $5.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Korea Investment Partners (KIP) and existing investors Y Combinator and Smilegate. The company used the funds to expand its product portfolio, enhance technology, and grow its team.
Over the years, Cashfree has received numerous accolades for its innovative payment solutions. It won the 'Best Payments Startup' award at the IAMAI Digital Awards in 2018 and was named 'Fintech Startup of the Year' at the India Fintech Awards in 2019.
In 2020, Cashfree became a part of the unicorn club when it raised $35.3 million in a Series B funding round led by Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity firm. The company used the funds to expand its product offerings, enhance its technology infrastructure, and grow its team. As of 2021, Cashfree has raised $42.3 million in funding.
Cashfree has become a popular payment gateway solution in India, with over 50,000 businesses using its services. The company boasts of clients such as Zomato, Cred, HDFC Ergo, Xiaomi, and Delhivery, among others.
The Future of Cashfree
As the Indian economy shifts towards digital payments, Cashfree is poised for significant growth in the coming years. The company has already established itself as a leading payment gateway solution provider in India and is now looking to expand its operations globally. In 2021, Cashfree announced its plans to expand its services to the Middle East and Southeast Asia markets.
Cashfree is also investing heavily in technology to enhance its payment solutions further. The company has already introduced AI-powered fraud detection and prevention tools to safeguard its customers' transactions. It is also developing new payment products that will cater to the evolving needs of businesses and consumers.
From a bootstrapped startup to a fintech leader
Cashfree's journey from a bootstrapped startup to a leading payment solutions provider in India is remarkable. The company's innovative solutions and relentless focus on customer satisfaction have made it a popular choice among businesses of all sizes. With its expansion plans and continued investments in technology, Cashfree is well-positioned to capitalize on India's growing digital payments market and beyond.