Prosus N.V., a Netherlands-based investment division of Naspers is reportedly planning to acquire Mumbai’s online payment gateway company BillDesk for USD 4.7 billion to expand its customer base in India.
Following the acquisition, the Dutch company will combine Billdesk with PayU, its global payments, and its fintech subsidiary, which already has a strong user base in India. BillDesk, meanwhile, will continue to function as a separate legal entity with the same founders.
Following the acquisition, the combined entity will emerge as one of the leading online payment services providers locally as well as globally with a yearly total payment volume of USD 147 billion.
If sources are to be believed, the agreement should be closed by February 2022 after gaining approval from the Reserve Bank of India and The Competition Commission of India (CCI).
This deal comes ahead of regulatory tightening in the payment gateway sector in India and will mark the biggest consolidation in the fintech industry at a time when most Indians are adopting online payment modes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
MN Srinivasu, Karthik Ganapathy, and Ajay Kaushal, the Founders of BillDesk have claimed that the timing of the deal is perfect since the company has reached a scale where they were exploring an IPO and other growth opportunities.
For the record, BillDesk was founded in Mumbai, in the year 2000, when the fintech industry was yet to gain traction in India. Now, the company claims to have the largest roster of business clients in the Indian payment gateways marketplace, handling approximately 50-60% of billing transactions in the country.
Meanwhile, BillDesk’s gross revenue for the financial year 2021 was assessed at USD 253 million, while its earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization were deducted, were evaluated at USD 42 million.