VyStar, an online banking platform that aims to be a pioneer in India’s unbanked segment, has raised $3.5 billion in a $25 billion round led by Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm.
The company says it plans to scale its offering in a couple of months, and is in talks with a number of banks.
The move comes amid an intensifying battle for the Indian market.
Earlier this month, the country’s top banking regulator told lawmakers that there are a total of 1.5 trillion Indian rupees ($23.4 trillion) in unaccounted-for cash in banks, which accounts for less than 0.2% of the total population.
The regulator, Ajay Maken, said the money held in banks is the largest untapped untapped resource in India, which could be worth up to $200 trillion.
The regulator’s warning came days after the government announced a slew of reforms aimed at reducing the size of the cash-strapped economy, and pushing the economy toward more efficient, market-oriented institutions.
Vystars platform has said it will scale to take on big banks.
In an interview with the Times of India newspaper on Wednesday, Vy Star founder and CEO Ravi Shankar Prasad said the company is targeting $30 billion in funding in its first three years.
Vystar says it will offer a full suite of payment and banking products including a mobile wallet, online banking, a platform for storing money, online savings and a platform that connects merchants to consumers.
It also said it plans on offering payments in foreign currencies, which it has already done in India.
The financial services market in India is dominated by a handful of large banks.
Many of the biggest players have already announced deals to buy stakes in rivals, with BSNL’s Tata Group acquiring stakes in a number three player in the sector, Axis Bank.
But the new money from Sequoias is likely to further strengthen the hand of banks in the country, given that it is backing a large chunk of Vy Stars valuation, and that Sequoius is also the biggest investor in other Indian players like BSNPL and BPL.
Vys Star says it is looking to partner with large Indian banks.
In a statement, Sequoiam said it is a leading global provider of global payments technology and has a global network of over 10 million merchants in more than 70 countries.
It has also invested in a wide range of leading Indian businesses, including Paytm, Vysstar and Flipkart.