Refyne raises $20.1 million to help workers in India get faster access to wages

Refyne raises $20.1 million to help workers in India get faster access to wages

A young Indian startup that is betting that earned wage access solutions will take off in the South Asian nation said on Wednesday it has closed a new round from high-profile investors.

Bangalore-based Refyne said on Wednesday that it has raised $16 million in Series A from partners of DST Global and RTP Global. The startup also disclosed that it raised a $4.1 million seed round in December from Jigsaw VC and QED Investors and XYZ Capital, all of whom also participated in the new round.

TechCrunch reported last month that Refyne was in talks with RTP Global to raise money.

Refyne works with employers to let their workers access their earned salaries in real-time. For instance, an employee could see how much they have earned in a week and withdraw a fraction of it anytime they wish.

The idea, explained Chitresh Sharma, co-founder and chief executive of Refyne, is that many individuals in India run out of cash by the end of the month and then some end up taking loans on not so favorable terms to make ends meet. “An employee should have the option to access their own earnings at any time,” he told TechCrunch in an interview.

It’s a concept that has taken off in several markets — with many major employers such as Uber and McDonald’s offering this flexibility to their workforce — but is yet to be tested in India. Earlier on Monday, Indonesian startup Wagely announced a $5.5 million fundraise to test this idea in the Southeast Asian market.

Sharma, a third-time founder, said Refyne’s plug-and-play software is aimed at all sizes of employers, and the platform can benefit blue-collar as well as white-collar workers.

“The need for financial inclusion is more important today than ever before. As the first company in India to provide earned wage access, Refyne can revolutionise the way millions of workers manage their money. By providing a real, affordable alternative to payday loans, Refyne will not only improve a person’s financial health, but it will add control for the consumer and dramatically reduce the stress on those who worry about meeting their financial obligations,” said QED Investors Managing Partner and Co-Founder Nigel Morris, in a statement. This is QED’s first investment in India.

Over 100 companies in India are already using Refyne’s platform, serving over 300,000 employees. Some of the clients include Rebel Foods, Cafe Coffee Day, Hira Group, and Chai Point.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

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