PayU to buy digital payments provider BillDesk for $4.7 billion
In one of the biggest deals in the Indian consumer internet space, global player Prosus NV on Tuesday said its fintech business PayU will buy digital payments provider BillDesk for $4.7 billion (about Rs 34,376.2 crore).
With the deal, the Netherlands-incorporated Prosus NV's investment in India will jump to more than $10 billion.
The PayU-BillDesk transaction, which is subject to approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), is expected to close by early 2022, Prosus Group CEO Bob van Dijk told reporters during a briefing.
“The combination will create a leading digital payments company in India and globally, and it’s exceptionally well-positioned to expand deeper into the Indian fintech ecosystem as more and more Indian customers move from cash to digital transactions,” he added.
Dijk noted that Prosus has been a long-term investor in India and has already invested close to $6 billion in India in tech companies since 2005. Prosus has invested in companies such as Byju's, Meesho, Swiggy, Urban Company and others in India.
The latest transaction builds on previous acquisitions by PayU in India, including CitrusPay, Paysense and Wibmo. It will help PayU — the payments and fintech business of Prosus that operates in more than 20 markets — become one of the leading online payment providers globally, handling total payment volume (TPV) of $147 billion.
BillDesk was founded in 2000 and is backed by investors such as General Atlantic, Visa, TA Associates, Clearstone Venture and Temasek. Dijk said along with classifieds, food delivery, and education technology, payments and fintech is a core segment for Prosus.
Dijk said that over the next few years, more than 200 million new users are expected to adopt digital payments and the average of the number of annual transactions per person is expected to rise 10-fold in the next three years from 22 to 220 .
For the financial year ended March 2021, PayU reported a strong performance, increasing TPV by 51 per cent year-on-year to $55 billion across India, Latin America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). PayU offers credit solutions for consumers and small businesses.
“By bringing together these two complementary businesses, we expect to create a fintech ecosystem handling 4 billion transactions annually,” Anirban Mukherjee, CEO of PayU India, said.
Asked if BillDesk will operate as a separate entity, Mukherjee said the transaction is expected to close in a few months and “even post close, we will take our time to figure out how to bring the platforms together”.