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PayPal Cofounder Backs India SME FinTech Startup

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An India-based financial technology startup that targets SMEs has announced new funding from a group of backers, including one co-founder of payments giant PayPal.

ClearTax announced Tuesday (April 26) a $1.3 million seed funding round that saw participation from Scott Banister, an early investor in companies including Facebook and Uber, as well as PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, said reports.

The backing marks Levchin’s first investment in an Indian startup, reports added. ClearTax said it plans to use the financing to launch new products, expand its team and build out its mobile strategy. Those new products reportedly include financial services for businesses other than tax-related tools.

“We are in the process of launching new products, catering to our SME and enterprise clientele, which will focus on invoicing and payroll,” said ClearTax chief executive Archit Gupta in a statement. “Our mobile app will be out next month as well.”

Recent analysis from the Reserve Bank of India uncovered a spike in mobile banking transactions, and Livemint attributed that trend to corporate users of mobile financial services.

“ClearTax is the dominant market leader in taxes in India with a strong focus on consumers and SMEs,” Levchin said in a statement via email. “We strongly believe in the Indian market, where the median age is 25 and FinTech products on the mobile will see deep adoption.”

ClearTax’s funding round follows weeks after reports emerged that the company hired senior Flipkart executives to its team. Former Flipkart director Prasanth Nair, for instance, was brought on as the startup’s vice president of engineering, reports said.

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