Refyne, an India-based financial service platform, secured a sum of US $16 million in a Series A funding round announced on June 9, 2021. Leading the round are partners of RTP Global and DST Global. Refyne also disclosed raising a sum of US $4.1 million seed investment as of December last year from QED Investors, XYZ Capital, and Jigsaw VC, all of whom contributed to the new round. The one-year-old Indian startup was built on and is driven by the concept of earned wage access solutions. Refyne hopes to drive the adoption of these revolutionary financial solutions primarily in South Asian countries.
Purpose of the investment
Refyne intends to deploy the new capital to increase its technology team and accelerate its development. They aim to offer their services to over 1 million employees in India by the end of the current financial year.
How Refyne works
Co-founder and CEO of Refyne, Chitresh Sharma, revealed that many individuals in India quickly expend their earned wages before their next payday, leaving some with no choice but to resort to loans of unfavorable interest rates to make ends meet. Sharma iterated that employees should have access to their earnings at any time they wish. This concept formed the basis for the development of the financial service platform, Refyne.
According to the startup, when confronted with a mid-month financial shortage, the most likely options for workers to obtain swift funds are payday loans and micro-credit schemes. These instruments, however, often bear unfavorable return rates, which further elevate employees’ debt commitments and mental wellness.
To solve this, Refyne collaborates with entrepreneurs to let their employees access their earned salaries and wages in real-time. The goal is to help employees examine their weekly or monthly earnings on the Refyne platform and withdraw a portion of it if and when they wish to do so.
Growth and trends in the industry
Earned wage access solutions is a concept that has taken off in various markets, with many significant employers such as McDonald’s and Uber extending this flexibility to their workforce but is yet to be tested in India.
According to Sharma, Refyne’s plug-and-play software was designed to serve employers and businesses of all sizes. Refyne can also prove advantageous to blue-collar as well as white-collar workers.
Refyne’s platform is currently being utilized by over 100 startups in India, serving more than 300,000 employees. Some of their clients include Hira Group, Rebel Foods, Chai Point, and Cafe Coffee Day.
In the words of co-founder and Managing Partner of QED Investors, Nigel Morris, “The call for financial inclusion is more relevant today than ever before. As the first startup in India to offer earned wage access, Refyne can transform the way millions of employees control their money. By presenting a practical, affordable alternative to payday credits, Refyne will not only promote an individual’s financial health but will add control for the customer and dramatically lessen the stress on those bothered about meeting up with their financial obligations.”
Refyne is a developer of a financial platform intended to help employees track of their salary and withdraw at any point in time at an agreed processing fee, thereby improving employee financial health and boosting employee retention. The startup is pioneering earned wage access in India to introduce a simple and affordable financial product to the masses. It aims to pave the way for wide-scale financial inclusivity in the country.
Founded in 2020 by Chitresh Sharma and Apoorv Kumar, Refyne has its headquarters in Bangalore, India. The startup aims to simplify money and help improve personal finance for the people of India by putting a stop to exploitative credit schemes, empowering employees with access to their earned wages, and developing trust in the financial system for the underserved.
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