Fintech provider PayU acquires BillDesk for $4.7 billion

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Fintech provider PayU Payments Private Limited, a subsidiary of Prosus, has acquired BillDesk for $4.7 billion.

Together, PayU and BillDesk will be able to meet the changing payments needs of digital consumers, merchants, and Government enterprises in India and offer state-of-the-art technology to even more of the excluded sections of society, while adhering to the regulatory environment in India and delivering robust consumer protection, the company said.

BillDesk, founded in 2000, is an Indian success story in the digital payments business, operating one of the leading payment platforms in India.

According to the FY21 annual report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the number of transactions for digital retail payments has grown by more than 80 per cent from 24 billion in 2018-19 to 44 billion in 2020-21.

Over the next three years, RBI expects more than 200 million new users to adopt digital payments with the average annual transactions per capita rising tenfold from 22 to 220.

PayU India and BillDesk run complementary businesses within India’s digital payment industry. Together, the two expect to create a financial ecosystem handling four billion transactions annually – four times PayU’s current level in India, the company added.

“We have a long and deep relationship with India, having supported and partnered with some of its most dynamic entrepreneurs and new tech businesses since 2005.

BillDesk exemplifies the ambition and expertise of Indian entrepreneurs, who are among the best in the world, with exceptional abilities to build products and services and understand scale and value. This is critical in a country as vast as India,” said Bob van Dijk, Group CEO of Prosus.

He further added, “Our announcement today reflects Prosus’s desire to build valuable, global consumer internet businesses that provide useful products and services for millions of people in their everyday lives.

Along with classifieds, food delivery, and education technology, payments and fintech is a core segment for Prosus, and India remains our number one investment destination.”

“We believe this transaction will stimulate both innovation and competition within India’s digital payments industry. This will not only help to strengthen India’s digital economy, but also bring financial services to those who may have historically been excluded.

This ambition is fully aligned with the Government of India’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and is a key objective for PayU across all the communities we serve globally,” said Laurent Le Moal, CEO of PayU.

“BillDesk has been a pioneer in driving digital payments in India for well over a decade. This investment by Prosus validates the significant opportunity in India for digital payments that are being propelled by innovation and the progressive regulatory framework put into place by the Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank,” said M N Srinivasu, Co-founder of BillDesk.

Anuradha Nagar

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