Indian fintech startup and fast-moving unicorn Slice has closed $20 million in debt financing from Neo Asset Management. This investment will be used as part of Slice’s broader ambition to grow its balance sheet as it looks at redesigning and expanding its portfolio of innovative credit products for millennials and Gen Z users.

Rajan Bajaj

PC: Mint

The Neo Asset Management round is going to significantly strengthen the capital base of Slice, according to identified people close to the matter. “This capital shall fuel our growth in terms of scaling our operations and strengthening our products,” said Rajan Bajaj, Founder and CEO, Slice. The credit and payment card provider was eyeing young consumers who are otherwise overlooked by traditional lenders for a lack of credit history. Of all of these, it has been demographic focus that has been the differentiating factor, which has helped Slice stake some claim in the competitive world of Fintech.

It has continued innovating in the credit space with the Slice Super Card in partnership with Visa and SBM Bank India. Such cards would have empowered users to build their credit scores while earning a lot in rewards and discounts. The user base for the company has grown exponentially: it was issuing nearly 200,000 cards per month by late 2021 and had accumulated close to 5 million registered users.

The latest funding round is expected to back Slice’s non-banking financial company arm, scale its loan book, and roll out new products. Having an average user age of 27, it has identified itself right at the centre of driving greater financial access for millennials and Gen Z.

It represents a validated approach, given its fast growth and the rising valuation of the company. It raised $220 million at a valuation of over $1 billion in its Series B funding round led by Tiger Global and Insight Partners. With this, Slice became one of the fastest-growing fintech startups in India; its mission was to democratize credit access for young consumers.

The strategic partnerships and regular funding rounds give a hint about the strong business model of the company and also its future prospects. It had raised $9 million in debt from Stride Ventures early in 2023, thus completely proving its strong financial stability and growth trajectory.

Though the growth is impressive, Slice operates in a highly competitive market where other players like Groww, Upstox, Coinswitch, etc., also operate. But the distinctive positioning of its younger-demographics audience and product-related innovations have helped set it apart. Now, its efforts to introduce UPI-based payments would further broaden its appeal and functionality.

The $20 million debt fund from Neo Asset Management is another important milestone for Slice, as it continues with the strengthening of the financials of the platform and provides an impetus to further growth. Clearly, target consumers are young; the history of innovative financial solutions positions SLICE for a sustained upward trajectory in the financial technology segment.

It will be through this—whether it can adapt and innovate because of the dynamics, changes, and demands in the market—that the competitive edge can be retained and growth sustained as the company moves forward.