Digital payment company EbixCash has made an equity investment in Bengaluru- based fintech startup Finly.io, which has developed an expense management tool for corporates. Itzcash MD Naveen Surya said this is the first among the several investments and partnerships the company is looking to make in the fintech space this year. Finly, which currently has a web and mobile platform, will use EbixCash’s prepaid card for expense management and disbursement. Surya said the deal is part equity investment and part business partnership, but did not disclose the amount. “The idea is to get ready for the next phase of financial services convergence. This year we are looking at multiple partnerships which will include investments, joint ventures especially in blockchain technology, and acquisitions and investments in areas such as credit and insurance,” said Surya. The new funding is from internal accruals, Surya said, adding that the company will become profitable this financial year.
The Essel Group-owned digital payments company, which has so far raised about $51 million from investors such as Matrix Partners, Intel Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, is also likely to consider IPO options soon. EbixCash said expense management for corporates is approximately a $25-30-billion opportunity in India, and is increasingly moving to digital platforms. Finly was founded by Bengaluru- based Veekshith Rai and Vivek AG in 2015 and has tied up with five large corporates. The two had earlier founded a startup called MindFree Labs that dealt with cryptocurrency mintcoin, adding that the revenue from the first company was put into Finly while starting off. Several fintech firms are looking at corporate expense management either as a core area of business or an added service. Digital payment company Zeta recently told ET that it plans to introduce an expense management system for corporates this quarter. Other players in the enterprise finance space are Happay and ChargeBee.