PhonePe gets ₹452 crore funding from Flipkart
Flipkart’s PhonePe is expanding aggressively to take on SoftBank-backed rival Paytm
Bengaluru: Online retailer Flipkart has infused about ₹452 crore ($66 million) into its payments arm PhonePe Pvt. Ltd, at a time when the UPI-based (unified payments interface) platform is expanding aggressively to take on SoftBank-backed rival payments start-up Paytm.
According to regulatory documents sourced from Paper.vc, PhonePe received the latest fund infusion from Flipkart in July.
PhonePe has been Flipkart’s big bet in digital payments after several failed attempts between 2013 and 2015.
In October last year, Flipkart said it would invest $500 million to expand PhonePe. The commitment was in addition to the $75 million infused by Flipkart in the mobile payments businesses since it acquired PhonePe in April 2016.
Last week, PhonePe claimed that it was the largest UPI-based payments player in the country, ahead of the likes of Paytm and Google’s Tez app, citing data from the National Payments Corp. of India.
In July, PhonePe bought the point-of-sale (PoS) business of Zopper, a hyperlocal mobile marketplace for small and medium-sized businesses, as part of a broader strategy to ramp up its offline business. In November, PhonePe launched its own point-of-sale device for small merchants.
Since Flipkart bought PhonePe, which was started by three former Flipkart executives Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer, the payments business has emerged as an integral part of Flipkart’s overall strategy. During the talks leading up to the $16-billion buyout of Flipkart, Walmart is believed to have valued PhonePe at around $1-1.5 billion, Mint reported on 9 May.
Since the beginning of the year, PhonePe has started to offer a range of services, including bus ticket bookings and food ordering, through tie-ups with service providers, starting with ticketing platform RedBus, as it looks to extend its platform and compete with market leader Paytm.
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