PayU To Acquire BillDesk For $4.7 Bn

The acquisition brings Prosus' cumulative investment in Indian tech to over $10 billion

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Prosus N.V. (Prosus)--the global consumer Internet group and technology investor--announced on Tuesday that an agreement has been reached between PayU and the shareholders of the Indian digital payments provider BillDesk to acquire BillDesk for $4.7 billion.

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The proposed acquisition will see PayU, the payments, and fintech business of Prosus which operates in more than 20 high-growth markets, become one of the leading online payment providers globally by total payment volume (TPV).

PayU focuses on high-growth markets and operates across three distinct businesses: as payments for domestic and cross-border transactions for the financial year ended March 2021, PayU reported a strong performance, increasing TPV 51 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to $55 billion across India, Latin America, and EMEA; secondly, credit solutions for consumers and small businesses-licensed in India and distribution agreements in five other markets; and thirdly, strategic investments in innovative fintech companies-including Remitly in the US and the building of a full financial services ecosystem in India.

“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. We’ve invested close to $6 billion in Indian tech to date, and this deal will see that increase to more than $10 billion. 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. 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,” shared Bob van Dijk, group chief executive officer, Prosus.

BillDesk, founded in 2000, is an Indian success story and one of the leading payment businesses in the country.

Together, PayU India 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.

“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. This deal is an example of how our purpose and our business objectives work together, accelerating growth and increasing access to financial services,” explained Laurent Le Moal, chief executive officer, PayU.

The transaction, which is subject to approval from the Competition Commission of India, builds on previous successful acquisitions by PayU in India, including CitrusPay, Paysense, and Wibmo.

“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 is being propelled by innovation and the progressive regulatory framework put into place by the Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank. BillDesk has always been committed to making payments faster, easier, and more secure.  We are excited about what the two great teams at BillDesk and PayU can deliver together as a driving force within the evolving digital payments landscape in India,” added M N Srinivasu, co-founder, BillDesk.

According to the fiscal year (FY)21 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 to 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.