Sequoia Capital and BeeNext participate in a USD 24 million seed round to back a second-time Indian entrepreneur

Investors are queuing up to infuse funds in successful entrepreneurs’ second venture in India’s startup ecosystem.

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Mumbai based Amica Financial Technologies, a yet-to-be-launched digital retail bank has raised USD 24 million in a seed funding round—one of the largest maiden funding rounds raised in India’s domestic market.

Investors in the seed round include Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, 3One4 Capital, Tanglin Venture Partners, BeeNext, Germany’s Rocket Internet, and London-based Greyhound Capital. A dozen other angel investors, mostly entrepreneurs also participated in this round.

Founded earlier this year by Jitendra Gupta and Vishnu Jerome, Amica is currently in stealth mode, and has been valued at USD 70 million. It is set to start operations in February or March next year.

Former Tiger Global top executive, Lee Fixel was also in talks to invest in Amica in his personal capacity, but nothing has materialized as yet, according to local media Mint.

Amica will have a business model similar to neo banks like the UK-based digital and mobile-only platform Monzo and Brazil’s Nubank. Neo banks are essentially digital banks that carry out all the operations over mobile apps and computers. Neo banks have been operating in the US and Europe for the last few years and has attracted investors’ interest in India this year, attracting considerable venture capital. Of late three neo-banks in India, all based in Bengaluru—Open, NiYo and Juno—have raised funds in the last few months.

Amica is targeting India’s salaried millennial population with monthly incomes of over USD 750. It services are intended to cover savings accounts, investments, lending services, fund transfer, and insurance in partnership with a large private bank, according to local newspaper the Economic Times.

According to company’s regulatory filings, Amica would involve in the business of legal, accounting, book-keeping, and auditing activities amongst others.

Amica is Gupta’s second entrepreneurial stint—he set up digital payment firm Citrus Pay along with Amrish Rau and Satyen Kothari in 2011—only to sell it to Naspers-owned PayU five years later for nearly USD 130 million.

Gupta’s success resounds with the growing phenomenon of a clique of second-time entrepreneurs who have managed to raise money before they launch their second venture. Kunal Shah, who started Cred and Ashish Kashyap, who founded INDWealth last year, after leaving GoIbibo, both lapped up USD 30 million in seed rounds for their second ventures even before they launched operations.