PhonePe raises $200 million in funding from Walmart

Indian digital payments firm PhonePe on Friday said it has raised $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) from majority backer Walmart at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion (roughly Rs. 99,000 crore).

PhonePe, which is already India’s most valued payments firm and one of the highest valued startups in the country, said the investment is part of its ongoing fundraising of up to $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,250 crores).

It has raised $350 million (roughly Rs. 2,900 crores) from private equity firm General Atlantic and $100 million (roughly Rs. 820 crores) from Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global and TVS Capital Funds in the last two months. ,

US retail giant Walmart, which acquired a majority stake in PhonePe in 2018, will continue as the majority investor, the Indian company said without disclosing its stake.

Despite the funding winter, the Indian digital payments space has been a bright spot owing to the popularity of online payments and the ambition of startups to branch out into the lucrative financial services sector.

PhonePe said it plans to deploy these funds to build and expand new businesses including insurance, wealth management and lending.

PhonePe was spun off from Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart late last year when it moved its registered headquarters from Singapore to India, a move that raised Walmart’s nearly $1 billion tax bill.

The transfer, according to some reports, was to ensure an easier entry into the country’s highly-regulated financial services industry, particularly lending.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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