Refyne Founders Chitresh Sharma and Apoorv Kumar
TheNFAPost Podcast

Refyne is already catering to more than 100 companies and 300,000 employees in India

The company has announced closing of its US$ 16M Series A from new investors, in addition to $ 4.1M seed funding received in December 2020

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Refyne, India’s first earned wage access (EWA) solution for companies, has announced the closing of its $16 million Series A from new investors, partners of DST Global and RTP Global.

Existing investors, including QED Investors and Jigsaw VC, which led December’s $4.1 million seed round — and XYZ Capital, also joined the round.

Refyne partners with employers to provide a plug and play software that enables employees to access their real-time earned salary.

Employees can withdraw this amount using Refyne’s app at any point before their payday. The financial wellness solution is free for organisations and integrates seamlessly with any existing HRMS and ERP service.

Mobile-first platform

Refyne is a mobile-first platform for employees of partner companies to manage their finances and discover innovative ways to track, budget, spend and save their money. It is an easy and affordable alternative to exploitative short-term credit facilities that helps users cover mid-month expenses without risking debt cycles.

Refyne aims to empower people with financial flexibility, the importance of which has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The earned salary gets credited to the bank account in less than 30 seconds.

Speaking on the fundraise, Refyne CEO and Co-Founder Chitresh Sharma said Refyne is delighted to be supported by some amazing investor partners in its journey.

“While we are aware of the responsibilities on our shoulders, having amazing stakeholders onboard helps us move faster and stronger. Times like covid have shown that Refyne’s offerings and culture DNA share the umbilical cord of resilience,” said Chitresh Sharma.

Product-market fit

Chitresh Sharma also said the company believes that it has found a great product-market fit, and, more importantly, a great team that believes in the mission of creating a positive impact on the lives of millions of people.

QED Investors Managing Partner and Co-Founder Nigel Morris said 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 Nigel Morris.

“This round represents our first investment in India, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with a world-class team that is solving important societal and financial problems on a daily basis. We’ve seen the success of earned wage access companies across the globe, and I have no doubt that Refyne will have an immediate and significant impact,” Nigel Morris added.

Staff loyalty

Companies that have deployed income streaming have recorded an uptick in staff loyalty, retention, and productivity due to the visibility employees gain into work hours and the corresponding earned income.

Financial stress has been identified as a critical contributor to employee absenteeism, attrition and productivity loss. Reports suggest 52 percent of Indian employees think they are less effective at work owing to the pressure caused by their financial problems. When faced with a mid-month liquidity crunch, the apparent options for employees to access quick cash include payday loans or micro-credit schemes. However, these instruments often carry predatory pricing, which further exacerbates employees’ debt obligations and mental wellness.

QED Investors Partner Sandeep Patil said Refyne is a powerful, pertinent financial solution created for the emerging middle class in the country.

“With Refyne, all employers can now empathetically and substantially stand by their teams in the hours of greatest need. Chitresh and Apoorv bring amazing passion, evident in their rapid progression from building the solution to being poised for exponential scale. I am excited to partner with them on this amazing endeavour”, shares Sandeep Patil.

Growth initiatives

The funding will be deployed to expand the technology team and scale growth initiatives.

Over a short period of five months, Refyne has partnered with almost 100 companies with over 300,000 employees in India and plans to cover more than 1 million workers this financial year. Some of the prominent brands Refyne has partnered with CARS24, Rebel Foods, Cafe Coffee Day, Hira Group, Chai Point, Wow! Momos, among several others.

Refyne is India’s first Earned Wage Access (EWA) provider based in Bengaluru. The B2B2C company was founded in 2020 by Chitresh Sharma and Apoorv Kumar. Refyne partners with organisations to allow their employees – full-time and contractual – to access their real-time earned pay anytime before payday, enabling them to align their expenses with their income and build their financial stability.

The startup is an affordable and innovative financial product that can help users curb their dependence on costly credit schemes and prevent them from falling into debt traps. The company currently caters to more than 300,000 employees of over 100 companies in India. Its clientele includes Cars24, Rebel Foods, Hira Group, Chai Point, Wow! Momos, and others. Refyne is backed by leading global investors like QED Investors, Jigsaw VC, partners of DST Global, RTP Global, and XZY Capital.

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