Flip­kart to in­vest $500 mn in pay­ments arm PhonePe

Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

SoftBank-backed Flip­kart said on Thurs­day it would in­vest $500 mil­lion in PhonePe to scale up op­er­a­tions of its pay­ments arm. The com­mit­ment is in ad­di­tion to the $75 mil­lion in­fused by Flip­kart in PhonePe since the ac­qui­si­tion in 2015, Flip­kart said. The an­nounce­ment comes a day af­ter the Re­serve Bank of In­dia said in­ter­op­er­abil­ity of e-wal­lets would be en­abled in phases.

SoftBank-backed Flip­kart on Thurs­day said it will in­vest $500 mil­lion in its pay­ments arm PhonePe to scale up op­er­a­tions. The com­mit­ment is in ad­di­tion to the $75 mil­lion in­fused by Flip­kart in PhonePe since the ac­qui­si­tion in 2015, Flip­kart said.

It added that this is one of the largest sin­gle in­vest­ment com­mit­ments in the In­dian fin­tech pay­ments space and “is re­flec­tive of the op­por­tu­ni­ties” in the seg­ment.

The an­nounce­ment comes a day af­ter the Re­serve Bank of In­dia said in­ter-op­er­abil­ity of e-wal­lets will be en­abled in phases. Also, in sub­se­quent phases, in­ter-op­er­abil­ity will kick in between wal­lets and bank ac­counts through the Uni­fied Pay­ments In­ter­face, the cen­tral bank added.

While Flip­kart did not spec­ify the time pe­riod over which the funds will be in­fused, PhonePe co-founder and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Sameer Nigam said, “This in­vest­ment will help us main­tain the same ag­gres­sive growth rate for the next two years”. He added that the in­vest­ment will be used to scale up PhonePe’s tech­nol­ogy plat­forms and ex­pand mer­chant net­work and con­sumer base rapidly. He also said PhonePe has been grow­ing at over 100 per cent ev­ery two months this year. “Fin­tech and e-com­merce are among the most vis­i­ble faces of a new dig­i­tal In­dia that is pow­ered by the youth and tech­nol­ogy, and both are set for out­stand­ing growth. PhonePe is a crit­i­cal part of our over­all strat­egy at Flip­kart to build a com­pre­hen­sive ecosys­tem for our cus­tomers,” Flip­kart Group CEO Binny Bansal said.

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