The combination of the Dutch fintech company and BillDesk is likely to establish a financial ecosystem that will handle four billion transactions annually, while reaching out to even more of the excluded sections of society


Prosus’s PayU to acquire BillDesk for $4.7bn. (Credit: PROSUS)

Dutch fintech company PayU has agreed to acquire Indian digital payments provider BillDesk for $4.7bn in its efforts to become a major online payment provider in the world.

PayU is the payments and fintech business of technology investor Prosus. The company is expected to grow the total payment volume (TPV) it handles to $147bn following the acquisition.

Founded in 2000, BillDesk caters to banks and businesses in India with its payments platform, and customer engagement and loyalty solutions. In 2018, the Indian payments technology company secured an undisclosed investment from Visa.

According to Prosus, the combination of PayU India and BillDesk can address varying payments requirements of digital consumers, merchants, and government enterprises in India.

Their technology is expected to help reach out to even more of the excluded sections of society. At the same time, the technology will comply with the Indian regulatory environment and provide strong consumer protection, said the Dutch investor.

Overall, the combination of PayU and BillDesk is anticipated to create a financial ecosystem that will handle four billion transactions annually.

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

“BillDesk has always been committed to making payments faster, easier and more secure. We are excited about what the two great teams at BillDesk and PayU can deliver together as a driving force within the evolving digital payments landscape in India.”

PayU’s previous acquisitions in India include CitrusPay, Paysense and Wibmo. The company has three businesses, which include payments for domestic and cross border transactions, credit solutions for consumers and small businesses, and investments in fintech firms.

Prosus has so far invested nearly $6bn in Indian tech firms, and the acquisition of BillDesk will see that surpass the $10bn mark.

Prosus group CEO Bob van Dijk said: “BillDesk exemplifies the ambition and expertise of Indian entrepreneurs, who are among the best in the world, with exceptional abilities to build products and services and understand scale and value. This is critical in a country as vast as India.

“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.”

The closing of the deal will be subject to approval from the Competition Commission of India.

Earlier this year, Prosus had sold a 2% stake in Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent for $14.6bn. Prosus is a subsidiary of South African internet company Naspers.