Bengaluru-based neobanking startup Open has reported a standalone net loss of INR 167.5 Cr in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22), representing a 155% YoY rise. The firm, which became India’s 100th unicorn in May 2022 following a $50 Mn funding round led by IIFL, had recorded a net loss of INR 65.7 Cr in FY21. The jump in expenses was attributed to the firm’s rapid business growth.

Open, which provides business banking, payments, and expense management services to small and mid-sized businesses across India, earned the majority of its revenue from the sale of services, with its subscription revenue and commission on services accounting for the two main categories of sales. Subscription revenue increased by 816% YoY to INR 33.3 Cr in FY22, while commission on services surged by over 272% to INR 7.6 Cr. Open’s total revenue, including other non-operating income, rose to INR 56.3 Cr in FY22, up from INR 15.7 Cr in FY21.

Open’s digital business payment solutions enable businesses to access a fully-digital current account and other integrated business-enabling tools related to finance, accounting, and credit, all in collaboration with banking and lending partners. The firm has three main products – Open Flo, Open Settl, and Open Capital – and claims that its services are used by 25 Lakh businesses in India.

However, the firm’s total expenditure rose by 2.7X to INR 223.8 Cr in FY22 from INR 81.4 Cr in the previous year, with employee benefit expenses alone accounting for around 48% of this increase. Open spent INR 107.1 Cr on employee benefits during the year, up 2.3X from INR 46.9 Cr in FY21, with INR 78.6 Cr spent on salaries, wages, and bonuses, up about 141% YoY. The firm also spent INR 22.5 Cr on employee stock compensation expenses, compared to INR 12.5 Cr in FY21.

Open’s advertising and promotional expenses surged by 6.8X to INR 68.8 Cr in FY22 from INR 10 Cr in FY21. The firm spent INR 14.7 Cr on technical services during the reporting period, compared to INR 4 Cr in FY21.

Since its inception in 2017, Open has raised a total of around $190 Mn in funding. The firm said it would use the latest $50 Mn funding to expand its SME lending product offerings. Open also recently received in-principle approval for a payment aggregator license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).