Slice, a Rising Fintech Startup, Gets RBI Nod for Bank Merger

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
Slice, a Rising Fintech Startup, Gets RBI Nod for Bank Merger

Indian fintech unicorn Slice has received RBI approval for its merger with North East Small Finance Bank. It is being seen as a groundbreaking achievement in a sector that has eluded many tech giants and startups. With its history of issuing over 400,000 cards in a month, the company aims to expand access to basic banking services for underserved consumers through this merger.

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The merger builds upon Slice’s prior 10% stake acquisition in the bank, setting the stage for a more robust partnership to enhance product innovation as well as rapid development. Rajan Bajaj, Founder and CEO of Slice, expressed his appreciation to the RBI for their trust in shouldering this significant responsibility.

Slice, valued at $1.5 billion in its last funding round, is backed by investors like Tiger Global, Insight Partners, Blume Ventures and EMVC. Initial investment in North East Small Finance Bank valued it at $68 million. Currently, two investors are in talks to invest $125 million in the merged entity.

Vikram Chachra, an early supporter of Slice and General Partner at 8i Ventures, said that the merger is a transformative moment for India’s fintech. He added that it is a digital-first banking revolution for the country’s 600 million smartphone users. North East Small Finance Bank, established in 2016 in Guwahati, is a subsidiary of RGVN (NE) Microfinance. It serves the northeastern region with backing from investors like Pi Ventures, Bajaj Group and government-backed SIDBI Venture Capital.

This merger comes at a time when Indian banks and fintech startups are actively forming partnerships to enhance their services. Federal Bank and SBM Bank India have engaged with startups to boost their businesses. Larger banks like HDFC, ICICI and Axis are also embracing similar collaboration with fintech firms.

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