Indian digital payments company PhonePe announced on Friday that it had raised US$200 million (nearly Rs.1,650 billion) from majority backer Walmart at an upfront valuation of US$12 billion (nearly Rs.99,000 billion).
PhonePe, already India’s most valuable payments company and one of the country’s highest-rated startups, said the investment is part of its ongoing fundraising of up to US$1 billion (nearly Rs. 8,250 crore).
It has raised US$350 million (nearly Rs.2,900 billion) from private equity firm General Atlantic and US$100 million (nearly Rs.820 billion) from Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global and TVS Capital over the past two months Funds raised, at the same valuation of $12 billion.
American retail giant Walmart, which acquired a controlling stake in PhonePe in 2018, will continue as the majority investor, the Indian company said without disclosing its stake.
Despite a funding winter, India’s digital payments space has been a bright spot due to the popularity of online payments and startup ambitions to break into the lucrative financial services space.
PhonePe said it plans to use those funds to build and scale new businesses, including insurance, asset management and lending.
PhonePe split from Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart late last year when it also moved its registered headquarters from Singapore to India, with Walmart shouldering the nearly $1 billion tax bill for the move.
According to some reports, the move should ensure easier entry into the country’s heavily regulated financial services industry, particularly lending.
© Thomson Reuters 2023