kicks off 2021 with $81M in fresh funding and $800M valuation came up with a pretty unique idea – why not reward people for paying their credit card bills? The startup, based in Bangalore India seems to be onto something as they now have over $3M and are starting the year with a whopping $81M funding round valuing the startup at ~$800M.

Oh and as I’m sure you noticed, they’ve been doing this on a .CLUB domain while the .COM sits dormant collecting dust. As an app I’m not sure the company will ever see getting the .COM as a priority but safe to say, they can afford quite the price tag now if they make a move for it.

So how does CRED make money? Here’s the scoop from the CEO himself in an interview with Techcrunch:

Shah said CRED makes money by cross-selling financing products — for which it has a revenue-sharing arrangement with banks and other financial institutions — and levies a similar cut from merchants who are on the platform today. More than 1,300 brands — including big names Starbucks, TAGG, Eat.Fit, Nykaa and emerging premium direct-to-consumer brands such as The Man Company, Sleepy Cat and Crossbeats –have joined the platform in recent years.(Source – Techcrunch)

One really cool addition to the funding round updates is the news that the company also spent ~$1.2M buying back stock from employees giving them some liquidity along the journey. When I was at Sonos we had a similar event take place during a $100M+ funding round but it was the new investors that bought shares back from some of us.

I can tell you, as an employee at the time, it was energizing to see my stock options turn into real money and it definitely added some wind to our sails along with the fresh funding. So not only does CRED have some nice buzz around the new funding, but with employees starting to cash in on their stock I can only imagine the vibe is absolutely electric over there.

It’s very likely that CRED will cross the billion dollar valuation mark likely in 2021 which could make it the first company to build a billion dollar brand on a .CLUB domain 🚀

Congrats to the whole team over at CRED, what a way to kick of 2021!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton