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Indian First Wife Husband Each Has a Unicorn

Ruchi Kalra is the chief executive officer of Oxyzo, Asish Mohapatra is the CEO at OfBusiness

A married couple became the nation’s first husband and wife to build their respective startups into enterprises with a valuation of at least $ 1 billion, also known as unicorns.

Oxyzo Financial Services, a digital lending startup co-founded by Ruchi Kalra, said on Wednesday it achieved success with its inaugural $ 200 million fundraising round led by Alpha Wave Global, Tiger Global Management, Norwest Venture Partners and others. Less than a year earlier, her husband Asish Mohapatra’s OfBusiness achieved a similar rating after getting support from SoftBank Group Corp. and others.

Ms Kalra, 38, and Mr Mohapatra, 41, are alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology and met while working at McKinsey & Co. Both startups are profitable, an incredible achievement for a young growth company. Ms. Kalra is the chief executive officer of Oxyzo while Mohapatra is the CEO at OfBusiness.

Matrix Partners and Creation Investments also invested in Oxyzo in what is one of the largest Series A rounds in the Indian startup industry.

Oxyzo, a combination of the words oxygen and ozone, was founded by Ms. Kalra, Mr. Mohapatra and three others in 2017 as a branch of the couple’s first start -up company, OfBusiness, which they started alongside three others in early 2016. Oxyzo uses technology to break down data and providing purchase financing to businesses, providing cash flow -based loans in credit -deficient countries where small and medium -sized businesses struggle to obtain working capital.

OfBusiness, officially known as OFB Tech Pvt., Supplies bulk raw materials such as steel, diesel, food grains and industrial chemicals to small and medium businesses. Its valuation surpassed $ 1 billion when SoftBank and others invested in April last year, according to Mr Mohapatra. In December, the initial valuation hit nearly $ 5 billion as SoftBank and others put more money into it, he said by phone.

Ms. Kalra, who is a partner at McKinsey, left the firm to join the entrepreneurial force with her husband, who left venture capital company Matrix. “We both feel itchy to go out and build something,” he said.

The two start-up companies run separately with different offices and teams, Ms. Kalra said. However, they target the same industries as infrastructure manufacturing and subcontracting. Both are based in Gurgaon.

Oxyzo has more than 500 employees and a data warehouse specializing in supply chain analysis. It has issued over $ 2 billion in loans and has been profitable since its inception.

In the statement, Norwest investors described Mr Kalra as “India’s first female founder of a profitable, unicorn fintech.”


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