Prosus underlines Indian objectives with $4.7bn deal for BillDesk

Dutch e-commerce company Prosus has announced a $4.7 billion deal to acquire Indian payments platform BillDesk.

Prosus’ PayU brand processed $55 billion worth of payments in 2020

The deal sees PayU, Prosus’ fintech business, expand its reach in India and become one of the largest online payment providers globally by total payment volume.

PayU reported a total payments volume of $55 billion across India, Latin America, and Europe last year. It has licences for credit distribution in both retail and business markets in India.

BillDesk marks Prosus’ largest deal in India to date, and puts a stamp on its ambitions for growth in Asia.

Founded in 2000, BillDesk processed $92 billion in payments for 2020, as well as accruing a profit of $37 million.

That figure suggests Prosus paid out more than 100 times the earnings of its newly-acquired company.

“We have a long and deep relationship with India,” says Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk.

“We’ve invested close to $6 billion in Indian tech to date, and this deal will see that increase to more than $10 billion.”

He adds BillDesk “exemplifies the ambition and expertise of Indian entrepreneurs”.

Laurent Le Moal, CEO of PayU, says the deal will “stimulate both innovation and competition within India’s digital payments industry”.

The acquisition, he adds, aligns with the Indian government’s Digital India project and will strengthen the country’s digital economy.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says it expects more than 200 million new users to adopt digital payments. It also predicts the average annual transactions per capita rising from 22 to 220.

BillDesk co-founder MN Srinivasu says the firm has been a pioneer in driving digital payments in India for “well over a decade”.

“This investment by Prosus validates the significant opportunity in India for digital payments,” he concludes.

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