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Indian fintech unicorn Razorpay has big plans for Curlec

Razorpay became a unicorn in India in October 2020. Since then, the fintech giant has only continued to grow in India, enabling businesses around the country to have access to better and simpler financial services.

As the third-largest fintech ecosystem in the world, India is home to over 6000 fintech companies with investment tech and payments accounting for a large number of them. Indian regulations continue to ensure the industry is secured and restrictions complied but that is not slowing down Indian fintech companies from expanding.

BLinC Investment Management, a Mumbai-based VC firm, pointed out that the overall market size for Indian fintech reached US$ 31 billion in 2021. With huge opportunities and competition in the industry, some Indian fintech companies have aimed for international expansions and global acquisitions.

Currently, Razorpay is the largest provider of payments to internet merchants in India. In the last two years, Razorpay has expanded from payments to covering all aspects of financial flows for a business. The fintech unicorn has also launched lending capabilities and has neobanking capabilities. Simply put, everything financial can be done on a single Razorpay platform.

With the industry growing and having established itself in India, Razorpay decided to expand its growth and acquired Malaysian fintech company Curlec. This acquisition marked Razorpay’s first international expansion as it plans to offer its services outside of the Indian subcontinent.

Speaking to Tech Wire Asia Harshil Mathur, CEO & Co-Founder of Razorpay said the acquisition was in line with the company’s expansion plans.


Harshil Mathur, Co-founder & CEO of Razorpay

“There is a lot of excitement happening in Southeast Asia. The market is similar to India. There is a lot of regulations in both countries. In Malaysia, real-time payments are growing and we felt there is an opportunity for us to bring our products to the market there,” said Mathur.

Acknowledging that different markets have different regulations and requirements, Mathur explained that when it came to the Curlec acquisition, the team at Curlec was very similar to what Razorpay was all about. They were impressed how Curlec has made a significant impact in the Malaysian market.

He added that Curlec has proven to be a strong player in the Malaysian fintech ecosystem. With the right resources and tools from Razorpay, Mathur believes Curlec can be a massive game-changer in Malaysia.

Interestingly, despite the competition in the fintech industry, be it in India or Malaysia, Mathur said that as long they are serving an unsolved market need, it would not be a big problem. True enough, while most fintech solutions do offer similar products, those that offer a larger range of services often lead the industry.

In Malaysia, the journey in online payments is still growing. With modern solutions needed for payments, Razorpay will be able to provide Curlec with the solutions needed to enable Malaysian businesses to solve their issues. For example, Razorpay has already built a lot of solutions in India and now they can apply them to Malaysian businesses through Curlec.

For Marthur, both Curlec and Razorpay will be able to create a strong product proposition that works in the local market.

 Razorpay DNA is filled with innovation

“Razorpay has built a very strong culture around innovation. Today, if there is anything new happening in the ecosystem, we are the first to be involved with it. The speed of innovation differentiates us. Razorpay has always been ahead of the curve and is able to adapt to the changes and bring it to the ecosystem quickly,” commented Marthur.

And in Malaysia, Mathur highlighted that Curlec will be doing that. They will be on the ground understanding what the customer wants and Razorpay will be using that information to create unique differentiated products. Mathur added that tech innovation is the core of Razorpay and it will be replicated in Malaysia and other markets.

At the same time, Mathur also explained that innovation should not happen at the expense of the poor. For example, in India, some are not aware of online banking and how it works. It may sound simple for many but it can be complicated for them. There has to be a balance.

This is where he believes regulators play an important role when it comes to innovation, especially in maintaining the balance in the industry and ensuring no one is left behind.

“We need to work closely with regulators to ensure there is a right balance in place. We are allowing space to create new innovations and also protecting those at the lowest point of the pyramid who do not want to get affected by this. As long there is the right balance, a right healthy mix can be approached,” added Mathur.

The Digital Rupee is a perfect example. While there haven’t been many details yet on the implementation of the digital rupee, Razorpay is excited about it.

“If it is implemented like a CBDC and uses blockchain or such, the opportunities can be immense. The ecosystem would have endless opportunities. It will reduce the complexities in the background of digital payments. A lot of these processes can be done away with. If it’s a programable rupee, the opportunities can also be endless. We are not sure how it will be but it will lead to a lot of innovation in it,” added Mathur.

With that said, Razorpay is definitely a force to reckon with in the fintech industry not only in India but in the region as well. And with Malaysia already in its plans, the fintech unicorn has also got a few more major announcements in the pipeline in 2022. For now, the company is focused on perfecting the industry with its solutions and keeping its customers satisfied.

As Mathur puts it, “the endpoint goal is if you start a company tomorrow and we can take up everything to do with money for your end to end.”