The Bengaluru-based fin-tech startup, according to an official statement, will utilise the proceeds from the seed round of funding towards ramping up its teams across functions, including, product, operations, business development and marketing.
All three investors – Shah, Rau and Gupta – are amongst the most active early-stage investors, particularly in the broader Indian fin-tech sector. Last month, the trio had backed banking and payment products-focused API platform Yap, in a Rs 10 crore angel financing round.
KarbonCard has been co-founded by investor-turned entrepreneur Pei-fu Hsieh, who was formerly with Chinese venture capital fund 01VC, leading its India investment. Prior to that, Hsieh was with marquee Silicon Valley investment firm Kleiner Perkins, and has had stints with global consultancy firm McKinsey and Rocket Internet, among others.
KarbonCard, which was founded in 2019, also counts Amit Jangir, who was also previously with 01VC, as a co-founder. Jangir, an alum of China Europe International Business School, has also previously worked with Ebay, Yahoo and Bosch China, across roles.
The product is primarily aimed at at the startups that look for corporate cards to pay for basic business expenses, such as digital marketing, SaaS-based tools and cloud infrastructure providers, among others, but which may not meed the stringent eligibility norms of established financial institutions.
KarbonCard does not require any fixed deposits or personal guarantees, and according to the company, can be issued in less than 24 hours. It also claims to not have any hidden interest expenses or fees, according to the statement released by the company.
Additionally, the company also provides startups with an expense management tool, with reconciliation features, allowing employees to navigate between multitudes of expense reports, and claim reimbursements in a timely manner.
“We offer rewards that are specific to startups’ requirements such as AWS credits, discounts from MakeMyTrip, Uber, WeWork, and many other SaaS products,” Hsieh said. Funded startups, with more than Rs 25 lakh in cash, are eligible to apply for a KarbonCard, according to the company statement.
“We believe that all startups are diamonds or diamonds-in-the-making. The most basic element that form diamonds is Carbon. We call ourselves Karbon because we ant to be the one that supports, nurtures, solidifies and matures every startup to be a true ‘diamond’ in its respective field,” Hsieh said.