PayU to buy payments firm BillDesk for $4.7 bn

‘Retail market grew 80% over 2 years’

Published - September 01, 2021 12:27 am IST - NEW DELHI

Dutch tech investment firm Prosus on Tuesday said its subsidiary PayU had agreed to acquire Indian payments gateway BillDesk for $4.7 billion, making this one of the biggest deals in the Indian digital payments sector.

The company said that together, PayU and BillDesk would 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 ‘delivering robust consumer protection’.

“Prosus N.V., the global consumer Internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, announced today 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,” the company said in a statement.

“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,” Bob van Dijk, Group CEO of Prosus, said.

He added that along with classifieds, food delivery, and education technology, payments and fintech was a core segment for Prosus, and India remained its number one investment destination.

PayU has previously acquired firms such as CitrusPay, Paysense and Wibmo in India. BillDesk, which was founded in 2000, is among the leading payments businesses in the country.

“Acquisition of BillDesk will see PayU become one of the leading online payment providers globally, handling a total payment volume (TPV) of $147 billion,” the company added.

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% from 24 billion in FY19 to 44 billion in FY21.

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,” it added.

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