Earned wage access platform Refyne raises US$ 20.1Mn funding
Refyne, India’s first earned wage access (EWA) solution for companies, has announced the closing of its US$ 16M Series A from new investors: partners of DST Global and RTP Global. Existing investors — including QED Investors and Jigsaw VC, which led December’s US$ 4.1M seed round — and XYZ Capital, also joined the round.
Refyne partners with employers to provide a plug and play software that enables employees to access their real-time earned salary. Employees can withdraw this amount using Refyne’s app at any point before their payday. The financial wellness solution is free for organizations and integrates seamlessly with any existing HRMS and ERP service.
Speaking on the fundraise, Chitresh Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder, commented, “We are delighted to be supported by some amazing investor partners in our journey. While we are aware of the responsibilities on our shoulders, having amazing stakeholders onboard helps us move faster and stronger. Times like covid have shown that Refyne's offerings and culture DNA share the umbilical cord of resilience. We believe we have found a great product-market fit, and, more importantly, a great team that believes in the mission of creating a positive impact on the lives of millions of people''.
The funding will be deployed to expand the technology team and scale growth initiatives.
Refyne is a mobile-first platform for employees of partner companies to manage their finances and discover innovative ways to track, budget, spend and save their money. It is an easy and affordable alternative to exploitative short-term credit facilities that helps users cover mid-month expenses without risking debt cycles. Refyne aims to empower people with financial flexibility, the importance of which has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The earned salary gets credited to the bank account in less than 30 seconds.
Over a short period of five months, Refyne has partnered with almost 100 companies with over 300,000 employees in India and plans to cover more than 1 million workers this financial year. Some of the prominent brands Refyne has partnered with CARS24, Rebel Foods, Cafe Coffee Day, Hira Group, Chai Point, Wow! Momos, among several others.
Companies that have deployed income streaming have recorded an uptick in staff loyalty, retention, and productivity due to the visibility employees gain into work hours and the corresponding earned income.
Financial stress has been identified as a critical contributor to employee absenteeism, attrition, and productivity loss. Reports suggest 52 percent of Indian employees think they are less effective at work owing to the pressure caused by their financial problems. When faced with a mid-month liquidity crunch, the apparent options for employees to access quick cash include payday loans or micro-credit schemes. However, these instruments often carry predatory pricing, which further exacerbates employees’ debt obligations and mental wellness. This is the problem Refyne aims to address.