Online investment platform Groww has raised a fresh $251 million in funding, led by new investor ICONIQ Growth at a valuation of $3 billion. The latest investment nearly triples the startup’s valuation in barely a little over six months. Groww had turned unicorn in early April—when it garnered $83 million in funding from a clutch of investors led by Tiger Global at a valuation of over $1 billion.

The latest financial round saw Alkeon, Lone Pine Capital, and Steadfast joining the firm’s cap table. The round was also backed by existing investors Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, YC Continuity, Tiger Global, and Propel Venture Partners.

The Bengaluru-based startup’s total fund count now stands at close to $400 million.

The company plans to deploy the fresh capital to extend its reach to the under-penetrated geographies, scale tech infrastructure, and bolster its team. The funding will also support Groww’s continued endeavour to spread financial education and awareness.

Founded in 2016 by Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal, Groww facilitates investment in direct mutual funds, stocks, ETFs and IPO for India’s retail investors. The company already claims to have over 20 million users and plans to add more financial products and services to its bouquet of offerings.

“Over the last five years, we have built a product that customers love and have lowered the barriers to investing across India. We are making a difference in the lives of millions of Indians by democratising access, and it seems the journey has just begun, with such a huge opportunity ahead of us,” CEO & co-founder Lalit Keshre has said in a statement issued on Monday.

With services being offered by startups becoming more mainstream and local consumers increasingly betting on the digital, investor funding for startups continues unabated. Last week, Kunal Shah-led fintech player CRED closed a fresh $251 million funding round—which led to a valuation of $4 billion.

A recent study by PwC said that Indian startups collectively bagged a whopping $10.9 billion in funding in Q3CY21 alone, reaching the milestone of quarterly investments surpassing the $10 billion mark. Fintech, edtech and SaaS segments cornered the bulk of the investments, analysts at the firm averred.

“Investors are taking a keen look at India to ensure their presence in the country’s rapidly growing consumer economy, which is supported by enabling policies that are geared towards ease of doing business and boosting investments. FinTech is not only a standalone sector that is lucrative considering the opportunity for financialisation in India but also addresses the larger issue of consumer internet platform—which are digitising and formalising a fragmented and unorganised economy,” analysts added.

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