Bank gets Freecharge for a song
Axis Bank has snapped up Snapdeal’s digital payments platform Freecharge for $60 million. The sum is 85 per cent lower than what the e-commerce company had paid to acquire Freecharge back in 2015.
The country’s third largest private sector lender said it had entered into a share purchase agreement with Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd (Snapdeal) to acquire 100 per cent of Accelyst Solutions Pvt Ltd (Accelyst) and Freecharge Payment Technologies Pvt Ltd, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals, including from the RBI for Rs 385 crore.
Among the two, Accelyst is engaged in payment processing services, while Freecharge Payment Tech is engaged in the business of operating payment system for semi-closed prepaid payment instruments
Freecharge was acquired by Snapdeal in 2015 for $400 million.
The e-tailer has been looking to sell the payment services platform for almost a year now. Reportedly, other entities that included Paytm and Amazon had expressed interest in Freecharge.
“What we are excited about is its tech platform, its capabilities, customer base and the brand. We’d certainly like to continue with the brand,” Axis Bank managing director and CEO Shikha Sharma told reporters today. Freecharge has 5.4 crore registered users with 70 per cent of them under 30 years. Axis Bank has 2 crore savings bank account holders.
Shikha Sharma, CEO, Axis Bank