BillDesk – Startup Story

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BillDesk provides payment solutions for customers in e-commerce, financial services, retail, and other sectors.

Back in 2000, M.N. Srinivasu, Ajay Kaushal and Karthik Ganapathy, all working at American accounting firm Arthur Andersen, quit their jobs to start a company that made it easier to pay their bills. At that point, electricity bills and phone bills were paid in person by standing in long queues, and BillDesk hoped to bring this process to the newly-emerging medium of the internet. BillDesk was founded in 2000 with the realisation of the potential of the Internet.

There are three pioneers behind the establishment of Billdesk, Srnivasu MN, Ajay Kaushal and Karthik Ganapathy. Sninivasu MN hails from Chennai, having done his schooling in St.Michael’s Academy and then in Vidya Mandhir, went on to finish his under graduation in commerce from RKM Vivekananda college, Chennai and then joining the elite Indian Institute of Management. Followed by small stints in companies like ITC Limited, ITC Zeneca Limited, Andersan in different Mannagement and Financial roles and then finally Co-founding BillDesk. Ajay Kaushal did his schooling in Patna from St Michael’s High School Patna then moving to Delhi to study in St Columbas High School, New Delhi. He pursued his Bachelor’s in Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in Electronic and Electrical Engineering finally completing his education from Indian Institute of management, Lucknow. He worked t SBI Capital Markets Limited, Arthur Anderson, CAF India and finally became the Director of Billdesk. Karthik Gananpathy also studied in Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Followed by work experience in Arthur Anderson where the three of them seem to have met and founded BillDesk.

In those days, there was no venture capital ecosystem to speak of, so BillDesk raised its first funding from government-owned SIDBI Venture Capital and Bank of Baroda in 2001. More government money followed — in 2006, Clearstone Venture Partners and State Bank of India jointly invested $7.5 million in the company. In 2015, BillDesk raised $200 million from General Electric and Temasek. The latest $300 million Visa investment has pushed its valuation past $1 billion.