Dutch venture builder Prosus is to buy Indian digital payments provider BillDesk for $4.7 billion and merge it with payments processing subsidiary PayU.
The transaction, which is subject to approval from the Competition Commission of India, builds on previous successful acquisitions by PayU in India, including CitrusPay, Paysense and Wibmo.
PayU India and BillDesk run complementary businesses within India’s digital payment industry. Together, the two expect to create a financial ecosystem handling four billion transactions annually - four times PayU’s current level in India.
Bob van Dijk, Group CEO of Prosus, says: “We’ve invested close to US$6 billion in Indian tech to date, and this deal will see that increase to more than US$10 billion.
“Our announcement today reflects Prosus’s desire to build valuable, global consumer internet businesses that provide useful products and services for millions of people in their everyday lives. Along with classifieds, food delivery, and education technology, payments and fintech is a core segment for Prosus, and India remains our number one investment destination.”
According to the FY21 annual report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the number of transactions for digital retail payments has grown by more than 80% from 24 billion in 2018-19 to 44 billion to 2020-21.
Over the next three years, RBI expects more than 200 million new users to adopt digital payments with the average annual transactions per capita rising tenfold from 22 to 220.