Cred to acquire expense management start-up Happay at $180 million valuation
Member-only fintech and ecommerce platform CRED is in the process of acquiring corporate expense management platform Happay. While the amount of the cash and stock transaction is not disclosed, CRED’s acquisition of Happay will be valued at $180 million, providing Happay investors with a lucrative exit.
Happay is a platform for managing business expenses, payments, and travel. It claims to manage work-related expenses for over 1 million users globally, serving 6K+ businesses. The company automates spend management workflow, allowing businesses to manage expenses, corporate cards, and corporate travel booking from a single platform. It ensures compliance and visibility with an end-to-end audit trail, allowing it to build a strong proposition in a contactless, paperless fintech world. With this acquisition CRED members will be able to manage personal expenses through Happay, and Happay’s customers will be brought under the CRED umbrella.
Fintech unicorn Cred will acquire expense management start-up Happay at a valuation of $180 million in a cash and stock deal.
While Happay will operate as a separate entity, its employees will work closely with Cred’s management to leverage its ecosystem, build distribution, expand the product offering and drive scale. Happay’s 230-member team will get all the benefits extended to Cred employees, including its ESOP program.
“The move will bring in synergies between Cred, the majority of whose members are professionals who use it to manage personal payments across multiple credit cards, and Happay, the only unified platform for business expenses, payments, and travel bookings,” a statement by Cred said.
Happay is a business expense, payments and travel management platform serving over 6,000 businesses. It manages work-related expenses for over 1 million users globally with around $1 billion in annual spends. Some of its key customers include the Tata group, PwC, Maruti, OYO, Byju’s, and Udaan, among others.
Kunal Shah, founder of Cred, said, “Happay’s product strength, customer experience, and vision align with our intent at CRED to reward responsible financial behaviour and we’re excited to partner them in their journey towards leading the category.”
“The next phase of our growth will come from building scale, brand, and distribution. The Cred team’s experience in this regard is unparalleled, and we’re excited to learn and grow together,” said Anshul Rai, co-founder and CEO, Happay.
Kunal Shah’s CRED appears to be aggressively acquiring companies —a strategy it steered clear of for about the first two years since its inception. CRED is on the brink of acquiring expense management firm Happay.
The two companies have been engaged in talks for the past few months and the terms of the deal have been sealed, said two people familiar with the details of the transaction. “The deal is a mix of cash and stock which will value Happay at over $150 million,” said one of the people requesting anonymity.
CRED has confirmed the acquisition talks to Entrackr. Happay will be CRED’s second acquisition after HipBar — an alcohol delivery startup which it acquired in October.
CRED is also reportedly in talks to acquire Times Internet-owned Dineout and Rainmatter-backed debt investment platform WintWealth. However, these talks are early and the Bengaluru-based company is yet to confirm them.
Shah’s other entity Newtap Technologies reportedly acquired fintech firm Parfait.
As for Happay, it provides expense management for corporates to manage travel and tax benefits for their employees. The company offers specialised solutions for large businesses with multiple branches and surface logistics companies.
The decade-old firm also enables large enterprises to issue prepaid and credit cards and manages expenses for 800K- 900K employees who are employed with 6,000 firms including 100 large enterprises.
“Employees usually use credit cards for making professional expenditures and Happay’s acquisition will bring them unders funnel,” said the second person, also requesting anonymity.
As of now, Happay has raised $22-25 million across several financing rounds. According to TechCircle’s estimates, it was valued at about $60 million during its extended Series B round in 2019. If acquires Happay in the above range, it will be a lucrative exit for the latter’s stakeholders.
While Happay is yet to file its annual financial statement for FY21, the company’s operating revenue grew 49% to Rs 37.55 crore in FY20 from Rs 25.12 crore in FY19. During FY20, its losses surged 95% to Rs 49.20 crore.
This year has been incredible for when it comes to the quantum of money raised. The firm mopped up $466 million in 2021 and is set to join Razorpay and Meesho who are also in talks to corner new rounds at valuations over $5 billion. Entrackr had exclusively reported about new round which would value the three year-old-company at over $5.5 billion.
With 38 companies that turned unicorn this year at last count, fundraising may not be big news anymore, but several companies such as Apna and OfBusiness have gone even further in the year, raising three back to back rounds in 2021.
CRED is set to join the list.
CRED is in late-stage talks to raise a new round from new and existing investors, said two people aware of the details of the transaction.
“Some new investors from the Middle East region along with internal investors are in late-stage conversation to invest around $250 million in,” said one of the people requesting anonymity as talks are still private.
The talks have emerged at a time when is also in talks to acquire Times Internet-owned Dineout and debt investment platform WintWealth. Sources emphasised that the proceeds will be used to chase inorganic growth.
“The terms of the deal are in the final stage of negotiation and will be valued anywhere between $5.5 to 6 billion,” said the person quoted above. The company was valued at $4.01 billion during its latest round in October.
has declined to comment on the story.
Caveat: The terms of the deal may change. The early-stage talks of the new round was reported by TechCrunch in October.
CRED will join Razorpay and Meesho who are also in talks to corner new rounds at valuations over $5 billion. Dream11, PharmEasy, Postman and Swiggy are the other startups whose valuation passed the $5 billion mark in 2021.
Backed by the likes of Falcon Edge, Tiger Global, DST Global, Insight Partners and Coatue among others, the Kunal Shah-led venture has raised $466 million in 2021 and $546 million since last December.
CRED is a credit card payments app with a direct to the consumer (D2C) marketplace and P2P lending via Mint. The company claims to have 22% of the overall credit card users on its platform, with a higher share by value.
While the company is yet to file an annual financial statement for FY21, it had projected a 208X growth in its operating revenues to Rs 108 crore during the fiscal year ending March 2021. Three-year-old company’s expenses are estimated to surge by about 79% to Rs 677 crore in FY21 from Rs 378.4 crore in FY20