Prosus buys BillDesk in India for $4.7 billion

Karthik Subramanian

Prosus, the technology investor based out of Amsterdam, has announced that it has acquired the Indian payments platform Billdesk for a sum of $4.7 billion to further augments its payments business in India.

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The company already owns the Indian payments platform PayU and this acquisition is expected to complement the PayU business and help to build a payments company that is likely to dominate this space, both in retail and B2B segments as well. The 2 companies together are expected to augment each other’s services and increase the number of transactions to over 4 billion per year which is four times that of the number of transactions that PayU handles currently.

“BillDesk is really the very definition of an Indian success story . . . the combination [with PayU] will be a leading digital payments company locally and globally,” said Bob van Dijk, chief executive of Naspers and Prosus.

BilDesk had made an after-tax profit of $37.05 million in the financial year ending March 31, 2021, and this deal is expected to be one of the biggest in the payments space in India and is subject to regulatory approvals. BillDesk is one of the largest payment processors in India and it recently launched a bid, along with a combination of banks, to design a new retail payments infrastructure in the company. With the payments industry already growing at a very fast pace in India and expected to grow even further in India and globally, this acquisition is likely to help Prosus to reap the benefits as the combination of these 2 companies would help it to boost its presence further in the country.

“This investment by Prosus validates the significant opportunity in India for digital payments that are being propelled by innovation and the progressive regulatory framework put into place by the Reserve Bank of India,” said M N Srinivasu, BillDesk’s co-founder.

Prosus has invested heavily in the Indian industry and it is well known for its stake in the Chinese giant Tencent. Over the last few years, it has managed to whittle down its stake in Tencent which has helped the company to build a huge fund with which it can invest in and acquire major companies around the world in a variety of industries.

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