The proposed acquisition of BillDesk by PayU is expected to lead to more consolidation as well as competition in the country’s booming fintech and payments space.
BillDesk is among the top payment companies in the country, and works with banks, payment providers, e-commerce companies, start-ups and corporates.
Founded in 2000 by three former executives of Arthur Andersen – MN Srinivasu, Ajay Kaushal and Karthik Ganapathy – it initially offered banks a platform that enabled their customers to pay bills from their homes.
Since then, the BillDesk BillPay has become the largest bill payment ecosystem in the world. BillDesk is also a leading player on the Bharat Bill Payment System, and is also a payment aggregator and supports over 170 payment methods.
Backed by investors, including General Atlantic, Temasek, Clearstone and Visa, BillDesk had a total payment value of over $90 billion in 2020-21 and has been profitable for some time.
Amid rising competition from other companies in the fintech space such as Paytm and Razorpay, BillDesk’s investors are understood to have been looking for a buyer for at least the last one to two years.
“PayU’s objective has always been to create a world-class digital payments company. India is a priority market for us due to the growth potential – the country’s digital payments sector is predicted to reach $1 trillion in TPV by FY25, up from $300 billion in FY20,” said Anirban Mukherjee, CEO, PayU India, in response to an e-mail query from BusinessLine .
Noting that the industry in India is growing and consolidating at a fast pace in line with Digital India initiative, he further said that conditions are right to make a transformational move that will ensure we have the scale, growth opportunities and synergies to offer an unparalleled experience for merchants, SMBs and consumers.
The acquisition is understood to be Prosus’s largest up to now.
PayU acquired an NBFC license in 2018, and is also venturing into newer segments such as digital gold.