Indian digital payments firm PhonePe said on Friday it has raised $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) from majority backer Walmart at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion (roughly Rs. 98,997 crore).
PhonePe, already India’s most valuable payments firm and among the country’s most highly-valued startups, said the investment is part of its ongoing fundraise of up to $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,249 crore).
It has raised $350 million (roughly Rs. 2,887 crore) from private equity firm General Atlantic and $100 million (roughly Rs. 824 crore) from Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global and TVS Capital Funds in the past two months, at the same $12 billion valuation. “PhonePe started its latest fundraise with a target of raising up to $1 billion in capital, post its domicile shift to India,” PhonePe said earlier this week. “With this second tranche, it has already raised $450 million (roughly Rs. 3,800 crore) within six weeks from leading investors. The company expects further investments from leading global, as well as prominent high net worth Indian investors in due course,” it said in a statement.
American retail behemoth Walmart, which acquired a majority share in PhonePe in 2018, will continue as a majority investor, the Indian company said, without disclosing its stake.
Despite a funding winter, the Indian digital payments space has been a bright spot due to the popularity of online payments and startups’ ambitions to branch into the lucrative financial services space.
PhonePe said it plans to deploy these funds to build and scale new businesses including insurance, wealth management and lending.
PhonePe separated from Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart late last year, when it also shifted its registered headquarters from Singapore to India, with Walmart picking up the nearly $1 billion tax bill for the move.
The relocation, according to some reports, was to ensure an easier entry into the country’s highly-regulated financial services industry, especially lending.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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