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Fintech unicorn Slice posts Rs 267 Cr loss in FY22

Bengaluru-based fintech unicorn Slice’s losses spiked 2X to Rs 267 crore in FY22 from Rs 103.87 crore in the previous fiscal. 

Simultaneously, the company clocked an operating income of Rs 182.53 crore, significantly higher than the Rs 37 crore it reported the year before.  

With this, the fintech startup’s total income for FY22 stood at Rs 217.9 crore, 456% higher than Rs 39 crore in FY21. 

The digital lending and payments platform’s majority revenue came from commission income, which increased to Rs 109.27 crore from Rs 19.5 crore in FY21, while the remaining constituted internet handling fees of Rs 73.26 crore from Rs 17.78 crore. 

According to the data from the RoC filing, the company’s expenses shot up by almost 240% to Rs 485.23 crore from Rs 143.6 crore in the previous fiscal. 

Breaking down the expense, Slice spent Rs 209 crore on advertising promotional activities as against Rs 6 crore the year before. At the same time, subscription membership fees increased from Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore.

The employee benefit expenses, including salaries and wages, also saw a rise from Rs 23 crore to Rs 80 crore in FY22. 

Recently, the Tiger Global-backed startup acquired a 5% stake in Guwahati-headquartered small finance bank, Indian Bank North East Small Finance, this year. It is yet to be deciphered how the deal would immediately be beneficial to the platform, which was among the worse hit by the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) digital lending norms circular issued last year.

The regulator had come down heavy on fintechs operating in cards and digital lending space, as it barred Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) instruments, including prepaid cards, from loaded with credit lines.

Slice, which was offering prepaid cards via a tie-up with State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) India, was among the worst-hit players as it was its core business.

Following the announcement, the RBI asked the company to stop onboarding new customers while the fintech temporarily suspended its cards in November to make the transition to a new system.

Recently, after receiving in-principal approval for the PPI licence from the RBI, a source cited by the Economic Times, said, “Slice has received the PPI licence from RBI, and its product has gone live with a few select users as well. With this, they are hoping to accept more users who are looking to come to Slice.”

The fintech company is now reportedly looking to offer PPI accounts with minimum know-your-customer (KYC) requirements to teenagers to expand its user base.

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