Slice Success Story - How it Emerged as the Biggest Alternative to Credit Cards!

Purbalee Dutta Purbalee Dutta Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Jul 20, 2022 14 min read
Slice Success Story - How it Emerged as the Biggest Alternative to Credit Cards!

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Slice.

Credit cards are central to today's life and living. They ease purchasing products in bulk, let the users invest in a dozen of ways when the time is ripe, and help them keep backup funds if needs arise. Among some of the basic things that the users need to bear in mind while using credit cards is that they need to keep a limit while spending via credit cards, and they need to be wary of paying the amount within the stipulated time ahead, without lengthening it to EMIs. Yes, because slashing the total amount due to easy monthly instalments costs an extra percentage of money to be paid, which becomes yet another cause of worry.

Cross-checking all these points and using a credit card judiciously is not everyone's piece of cake. This is the reason why Slice came into being.

With a revolutionary idea to cause a disruption in the credit card landscape, Slice has decided to launch Slice cards or Slice super cards to give the users the freedom of slicing their total amount into 3 easily payable sums of money. This is after it initially was founded as a buy now pay later service provider.

One thing that distinguishes Slice super cards from regular credit cards is that the Slice cards would not require any extras to be paid. Besides, by using these cards one can also shop anytime, anywhere, and everywhere and even transfer the instant cashback to their banks with numerous benefits attached to it. Thus, you won't be having to pay any hidden charges to be paid later. The benefits of using Slice don't end here. Furthermore, Slice has also entered the UPI payments sector of India, which is seeing huge growth now across the Indian subcontinent and the world. All of these pivots and the growth that Slice has witnessed, which is also counted among the Indian unicorn startups, are some of the things that make the Slice success story an important and interesting read.

Pivoting a new model of providing classic term loans, Slice decided to make a new way forward in response to the RBI-announced restrictions of the provision of credit lines for the non-bank prepaid instrument (wallet) providers.

To know what's more to it, read the Slice success story below and also get an insight into its Startup Story, Founders and Team, Funding, Revenue, Valuation, Business Model, Revenue Model, Future Plans, and more!

Slice - Company Highlights

Startup Name Slice
Headquarters Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Sector Banking and Payment
Founders Rajan Bajaj
Founded January 2016
Valuation $1.2 bn+ (November 2021)
Revenue $3.98 mn (Rs 29.88 crore in FY20)
Total Funding raised $341.2 mn (May 2022)
Website sliceit.com

Slice - About
Slice - Startup Story
Slice - Mission and Vision
Slice - Name, Tagline and Logo
Slice - Founder and Team
Slice - Target Market
Slice - Business Model
Slice - Revenue Model
Slice - Startup Challenges
Slice - Funding and Investors
Slice - Growth
Slice - Competitors
Slice - Future Plans

Slice - About

Slice is a Bengaluru-based payment and credit startup that extends hassle-free payment cards to deal with your daily payments, which can also be converted into Equated Monthly Installments or EMIs for the ease of the user without any added expense. Β 

Slice cards, also referred to as Slice Super cards are zero-fee cards that can be utilized to make transactions both online and offline. The Slice super cards have grown to be one of the leading competitors of traditional credit cards. With these, you can make payments instantly to e-wallets like PhonePe, Google Pay, etc.

Furthermore, Slice also claims to reward the users with up to 2% cashback on every transaction. These cards are looking forward to redesigning the economic experience of all the common people. Slice is an enthusiastic unicorn fintech startup that crossed the 1 billion valuation mark on November 29, 2021.

Slice cards have completely changed the way one used to pay! Credit cards are no more a burden now! The process is now smoother and more transparent than usual. The credit limit starts from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 10 lakhs. Slice provides its consumers with the lengthiest interest-free instalments. Since the company deals with the cardholders in full clarity, it has turned out to be a very positive aspect towards gaining trust and referrals.

Slice founder and CEO Rajan Bajaj aims to hand powerful and relevant financial products to young India so that they can start building their credit scores right from the beginning.

β€œWe saw the need for a payment card with a credit line. As the card is interlinked with Slice’s interactive app, the user gets regular data on expenses, insights on spending patterns, regular repayment reminders, and suggestions to convert dues to monthly EMIs in case there are difficulties in paying the whole amount. All this leads to good credit habits,” added he.

Slice - Startup Story

We all have heard at least once that credit cards can make one's life easier! But, is it actually so? Well, it is far from the truth! Nowadays, getting one such card is being increasingly difficult and this first step again often leads to more hassles. One needs to have a decent job to drop himself or herself to a specific income bracket in order to qualify for it.

Besides, these cards involve higher interest rates too, as already mentioned above. Getting to know all these loopholes in the whole credit industry, Rajan Bajaj, the founder-CEO of the company ideated a product that would be simple and easily accessible, and usable for the masses. Along with the hurdles faced by others, as reported by Bajaj, it was primarily the hassles that he himself faced, being an avid credit card user, which enkindled the spirit of entrepreneurship in Rajan.

Rajan was only 22 years of age when he founded the startup. He knew that credit cards were one such thing that ensues numerous hassles and plagued the whole generation, especially those who hail from middle-class families in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Besides, he also took a keen interest in the banking space. All of these led to the development of Slice.

Target Market of Slice

The target audience of Slice is college and university students and early-age business associates, who were often declared ineligible for the usual credit cards. The aim of Slice is to simplify financial products for the youngsters. Besides, freelancers, startups, and other individuals often wish to experience the pleasure of having credit cards. This is the reason why Slice came into existence to change the game. The average age of Slice customers is 22 years.

Slice - Mission and Vision

Slice is on a mission to ease access to credit in India. The company is looking to change this by helping the students get credit options to buy their books, or other relevant products like laptops and mobile phones, which they can again repay in monthly instalments.

The goal of the team Slice is to build a transparent, modern, and simple financial platform for the Indian youth community.

The naming of Slice comes from the unique feature of slicing a particular amount or bill into 3 without having to pay anything extra, which the Slice app offers. Β  Β 

Slice often chooses the phrase "India’s best credit card challenger" to define itself and its products, which can be considered the Slice tagline.

Slice - Logo
Slice - Logo

The Slice logo is coloured in white with a purple background and denotes the slicing of a quarter circle. Β 


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Slice - Founder and Team

The founder of the company Slice is Rajan Bajaj.

Rajan Bajaj

He is the Founder and the CEO of the company. Rajan began his career as a Business Analyst Intern at Walmart. He was also the founder of the company Mesh Internet. Rajan has pursued his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Slice Founder - Rajan Bajaj
Slice Founder - Rajan Bajaj

Slice currently has somewhere around 501-1000 employees, as is mentioned in its Linkedin profile.

Slice - Business Model

The business model of Slice revolved around the subvention income from merchants like Amazon and Flipkart for no-cost EMIs. Furthermore, it also took into consideration the interchange income from cards, interest income from EMIs, and more.

The Slice cards provided the users with the following information -

  • Daily data on payments
  • Knowledge about the spending pattern
  • Regular expenses indications
  • Recommendations to convert dues to EMIs (if only facing difficulties in paying the entire amount)

Slice has significantly altered its model of business after RBI announced that no non-bank prepaid instrument (wallet) providers like Slice, can offer credit lines. Slice has now pivoted with the offering of classic term loans, as per reports dated July 20, 2022.

The company informed its users via emails that it will stand as a provider of classic term loans in July 2022. This new credit disbursal mechanism is refered to as β€œPurchase Power”. This Purchase Power would help the customers borrow an amount from the company. So, as soon as a user would use his/her Slice card, the best amount to be borrowed would be reflected right away, which will be at par with their credit limit or the maximum amount that the lender has decided them to borrow.

This means that the flexible borrower-friendly terms would be replaced by a service that will be similar to the regular credit cards but without the fixed credit limit. Slice will now analyse the creditworthiness of the borrowers while proceeding with every single transaction, which previously offered credit lines for them. Β 


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Slice - Revenue Model

Slice mainly earns via handling fees and commissions that contribute centrally to its revenue collections. To sum up, Rajan Bajaj-led micro-credit platform earns via:

  • Income from the interests
  • Fees from the EMI partners
  • Late fees
  • Interchange income
  • Commissions earned from the partner merchants
  • Its subsidiary NBFC (Quadrillion)

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Slice - Startup Challenges

One of the earliest challenges that startups face is in raising the capital required to make a headstart and hire a competent team but Slice had no such major issues with it. The only obstacle that Slice had to face when it started off was in convincing the lenders who were shying away from extending credit to the youngsters.

Building adequate systems to manage risk was the next hurdle that Slice needed to overcome. The third challenge that Slice is still battling against is to keep serving its customers in the best possible way, thereby enriching the overall customer experience.

Some other challenges of Slice include a low adoption rate and high chances of defaults.

Slice App Flagged by Google Play Store

Google Play Store flagged the Slice app as harmful, as per reports dated June 30, 2022. The Google store of apps warned that the Slice app was harmful as it tries to spy on the customers and their personal data, and had recommended them to delete the same from their phones.

RBI Notification Challenges Slice

RBI notified in June 2022 that the NBFCs will be barred from offering credit on PPI. This means that Slice will no longer be able to challenge the credit cards as easily as it did before. These challenges in the past year, 2021, marred much of the Slice momentum. In response to the same, Slice announced that it has switched to the model of providing classic term loans in place of providing credit lines via the Slice app.

Slice - Funding and Investors

Slice has raised around $341.2 million over the 12 funding rounds that it has seen so far. Slice has raised its Series C funding round on June 1, 2022, where the company raised $50 million from Tiger Global, which was joined by Moore Strategic Ventures and Insight Partners.

It was previously the Series B funding round, that Slice witnessed, which helped the company mop up $220 million and reach a unicorn valuation on November 29, 2021. The company is currently counted among the Indian startup unicorns. Slice was the 31st Indian startup to achieve such a status in 2021.

Date Transaction Name Money Raised Lead Investors
June 1, 2022 Series C $50 million Tiger Global, Moore Strategic Ventures, Insight Partners
November 29, 2021 Series B $220 million Insight Partners and Tiger Global
July 29, 2021 Debt Financing $10.04 million -
June 28, 2021 Venture Round $20 million -
May 24, 2021 Debt Financing $22.63 million -
November 11, 2020 Debt Financing $5.19 million -
June 25, 2020 Series B $6.12 million Gunosy Capital
October 20, 2019 Debt Financing $1.4 million -
September 19, 2019 Debt Financing $2.72 million Gunosy Capital and Pegasus Wings Group
September 3, 2018 Series A $14.9 million FINUP
February 15, 2016 Seed Round $500,000 Blume Ventures

Slice is funded by 8 lead investors. The most recent investor is GMO Venture Partners, Insight Partners, and Tiger Global Management.

Slice Shareholders

Among the shareholders of Slice, Tiger Global and Moore Strategic owns 7.82% and 3.05% stakes in the company, while Insight Partners commands a 6.58% stake. Β 

Slice - ESOPs

Slice announced an ESOP buyback programme in February 2022 that is worth Rs 65 crore, where around 60 former and existing employees of Slice, who hold vested options in the company, were eligible for the buyback. Β 

Slice - Growth and Revenue

Slice has already crossed the one million mark of transactions through its app within 5 months after the company launched its first physical card in May 2019. 60% of the transactions were done offline and the rest 40% were done online back then. Slice had last boasted of having a user base of 12 million and has mentioned that it was currently operating in over 16 cities.

Slice has claimed that the platform is growing over 40% month-on-month. It had been looking to launch its UPI product for quite some time until it finally launched the same on May 19, 2022. Slice now seeks to be a payments-first UPI company from being a credit-based startup. Β 

Slice started its game as a buy now pay later (BNPL) company in 2016, which soon pivoted with its card product in 2019, and now the company has again pivoted with its UPI product, thereby entering the already crowded market dominated by the top-of-the-line players like PhonePe, Google Pay, Paytm, BharatPe and more.

Slice is a unicorn startup in India, the valuation of which had increased 5X in six months. Besides, it was also revealed when the startup turned unicorn that the company was issuing 2 lakh Slice cards per month, which rose from 20K at the beginning of 2021. Β In 2022, this went further up to become 3 lakh cards issued per month.

With Slice embracing the classic term loans as a central part of their offering after RBI announced in June 2022 that the non-bank prepaid instrument (wallet) providers such as Slice can no longer offer credit lines, it is interesting to watch how the unicorn grows.

Slice Financials and Revenue

Slice makes a major chunk of money from the handling fees that it collects, which was responsible for 71.3% of the total income in FY20. These revenues saw a 3.6X growth in the same fiscal, reported at Rs 24.12 crore. Slice's revenue grew by nearly 18% during FY21 to become Rs 35.3 crore from Rs 29.88 crore of revenue in FY20.

Slice also earns via commissions, which made up around 17% of its income in FY20 and was reported to have grown by 7.3X to Rs 5.36 crore in FY20 when compared to the same period of the previous fiscal. The credit startup also has a subsidiary named Quadrillion Finance Private limited, which adds up the remaining part of its revenues. The expenses of Slice increased by 34%, reaching Rs 47.8 crore in FY21.

The Slice losses jumped by 394% to become Rs 8.9 crore in FY21.

Rajan Bajaj, Co-founder, and CEO of Slice mentioned that Slice is growing at a steady rate of 15-20% each month.

Slice Financials FY20-21
Slice Financials FY20-21

Slice Launched its UPI Product

Slice launched its UPI payments feature, which can be availed by its waiting list of 10 million customers, who have not been able to get access to credit yet.

Slice Pivoted with Slice Card

Slice added their own Slice card in 2019 and claims to add around 200K cards each month, as reported in December 2021.

The average revenue run rate of the company is at $100 mn. Slice processes $265 mn (Rs 2000 crore) worth of gross transactional value (GTV) each month. Β 

Slice is working on adding amazing features to change the stereotypical system of people being engaged with their credit cards. Reports also say that Slice is looking forward to adding rewards to the app because its goal is to turn the normal plastic card into a greater financial tool.

Slice - Competitors

The top competitors of Slice are - LazyPay, ZestMoney, and KreditBee.

LazyPay

LazyPay is among the top competitors of Slice. The company is headquartered at Gurgaon, Haryana, India, and was founded in 2017. LazyPay works in the Fintech sector.

ZestMoney

ZestMoney is perceived as one of the top competitors of Slice. The company is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, and was founded in 2015. ZestMoney also works in the Fintech field.

KreditBee

KreditBee is another competitor of Slice card. The company is headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, and was founded in 2018. KreditBee also operates in the Fintech industry just like the above-mentioned companies.

Slice - Future Plans

Slice looks forward to having around 150 million users who would opt for credit cards or BNPL products over the next 5-7 years. Furthermore, the unicorn credit startup also aims to extend its presence to over 24 cities by the end of 2022, most of which would be in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

FAQs

Who is the founder of Slice?

Rajan Bajaj founded Slice in 2016.

Where can I use my Slice card?

Slice super cards can be used in a wide variety of ways. For example, you can always use it for transactions with all online and offline merchant where you can pay with Credit/Debit cards, excluding those merchants who prefer payments via prepaid wallets. Some merchants might allow the Slice cards only in the Debit card section while others stick to the Credit card section where the users will need to use their Slice pay cards.

What happens when my profile is waitlisted?

Getting waitlisted while applying for the Slice cards would mean that the company is unable to offer you its services at that moment because of some mismatch in their criteria for your account. However, it will not mean that you won't be using the services of the platform ever again because the criteria are changing every day and the company keeps adding new parameters to include the users.

What is a Slice Pay card?

Slice brings its own payment cards known as Slice pay cards or Slice super cards. These cards don't have any hidden charges and are zero-fee cards that can be used to pay the e-commerce websites and other merchants in place of Debit or Credit cards. Furthermore, with these cards, you would also be able to slice your total bill into 2, 3, or more EMIs that will continue for the period of 12 months without any added charges.

What are the Slice credit card benefits?

Slice cards or Slice super cards help the users to slice their total amount into 3 easily payable sums of money. The Slice credit cards don't require any extra amount to be paid.

What are Slice charges?

Slice charges are nil for joining or renewal. However, when the Slice card is used in the ATMs and if they need to be replaced, then these cards accrue some charges.

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