Walmart-backed Indian mobile payments giant PhonePe has ditched a planned acquisition of BNPL player ZestMoney over due diligence concerns, according to the Economic Times.
PhonePe has walked away from a deal pegged at between $200 million and $300 million despite the fact it would have secured the company a long-coveted non-banking finance company licence.
Citing sources, the Economic Times says that PhonePe was concerned about ZestMoney's business model and debt liability, as well as India's increasing regulatory scrutiny of digital lenders.
Founded in 2015, ZestMoney had a $450 million valuation at its last funding round but has reportedly found it difficult raising fresh funds and has been actively looking to sell.
In contrast, last month PhonePe secured a further $200 million at a $12 billion valuation from majority investor Walmart.