Payments platform DotPe is in talks to raise $5 million from Naspers Fintech, the fintech investments arm of South African conglomerate Naspers and a Chinese investor, said three people familiar with the development.
The payments platform is the new venture of Shailaz Nag, the co-founder of Citrus Pay, which was acquired by PayU in 2016 and rebranded PayU India. It is expected to be in the QR-based payments space, said the people cited above and this is likely to place it in competition with Paytm and PhonePe, among other such platforms.
“The Naspers investment is part of a larger round for which the founder is in talks with other investors as well, including a Chinese investor,” said one of the persons mentioned above, requesting anonymity. “It is in the QR-based payments space. Nag plans to add a layer of e-commerce to it,” he said.
Nag did not respond to queries as of press time. A Naspers Fintech spokesperson said, “It is the company’s policy to neither acknowledge nor deny its involvement in any merger, acquisition or divestiture activity nor to comment on market rumours.”
The potential deal underscores growing investor interest in the payments space. Incumbents such as Alibaba-backed Paytm and Walmart-backed PhonePe are in talks to raise large sums of funding, while QR-based payments firm BharatPe raised $50 million on Monday in a round led by Ribbit Capital, with participation from Steadview Capital, said a Times of India report.
A strong investor interest in Nag’s new venture also highlights a trend where second-time entrepreneurs are garnering investor attention even before launching their new businesses, a phenomenon common not just in India but in the US and China as well.
Kunal Shah-led Cred, a platform for credit card users with high creditworthiness, is raising Rs730 crore in a round led by Ribbit Capital and Gemini Investments, according to regulatory filings. Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori led Cure.Fit has accumulated large pools of capital over the last few years as investors are bullish on parking their money in ventures led by experienced entrepreneurs.
“Investors, particularly those who made returns in the first or prior investment, give second-time entrepreneurs a lot of credit and deference in their next innings,” said an industry analyst, requesting anonymity. “They know that these people will attract talent and have the will and the network to increase the odds of success. Anything that increases the odds of success will attract them like moths to flame,” said the analyst.
Top venture capitalists are bullish of second-time entrepreneurs and founders such as former PayU managing director Jitendra Gupta and Anurag Sinha from personal finance app Walnut, the Economic Times reported last month.
The article was first reported on Livemint.com