Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has invested an undisclosed sum in fintech startup Khatabook, which is backed by pedigreed investors like Sequoia India, Tencent, and Y Combinator. Dhoni will also be the brand ambassador for the startup, which enables small and medium businesses to record and track cash transactions safely and securely.

Its mobile application is presently available in 11 languages and has recorded cash transactions worth over ₹3.7 lakh crore in the last one year. Dhoni’s investment comes at a time when the firm has crossed 2 crore registered merchants on its mobile app. Khatabook is now aiming to onboard another 2 crore merchants over the next 12 months.

“There are many new-age companies in the country, only a few like Khatabook, are making a difference at the grassroots level,” says Dhoni. The cricketer, who grew up in a small-town, says, “I saw friends and family struggle with outdated modes of doing business and tracking finances”.

Khatabook, he says, has had an “outsized impact” on the lives of India’s small merchants and retailers. “I am very excited to join them at a crucial point in their journey, as they work towards achieving their goal of transforming the way India does business.”

The startup that has completely automated the traditional business ledger process in the country, says it has helped 2 crore Indian merchants save over 700 productive working hours in a year each. The startup has also acquired merchants in Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

“At Khatabook, we aspire to build the same level of trust, agility and reliability [that Dhoni embodies] among our merchants and business partners and be a true partner to them in their journey,” says Ravish Naresh, co-founder and CEO Khatabook. “To us, this partnership seemed like the most natural fit, and we look forward to setting new milestones together as we build financial solutions for a billion Indians.”

At present, merchants across 5,000 Indian cities use the Khatabook app. From mom-and-pop stores to mobile recharge shops, garment dealers, and jewellers, the fintech company serves over 500 types of businesses. "Khatabook's initial growth came organically and we currently have a market penetration of 25-30%,” says Ved Prakash, VP Marketing, Khatabook. “Now the idea is to drive trust and reliability at a large scale. This is why doing our brand campaign with Dhoni is a great fit. With this, we are poised at strengthening brand awareness, creating category and increasing penetration by 50-60%,” he adds.

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