India: Axis Bank in talks to buy digital payment platform FreeCharge

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Axis Bank has emerged as the frontrunner to buy Snapdeal-owned mobile wallet FreeCharge, according to a report in The Economic Times citing three people aware of the development.

India’s third-largest private sector lender Axis Bank is currently conducting the due diligence on FreeCharge that could be valued at $100 million, the report said.

The mobile wallet company has been looking for a buyer for the last few months. In May this year, it was reported that leading digital payments firm Paytm had signed a non-binding agreement to acquire FreeCharge. Bharti Airtel is reportedly also in the race to acquire Snapdeal’s arm.

Founded by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon in 2010, Freecharge is one of India’s leading digital wallet firms, along with Mobikwik and Alibaba-owned Paytm. It was acquired by Snapdeal, run by Jasper Infotech, in 2015 in a cash-and-stock deal estimated at $400-450 million.

Snapdeal has also been looking for an acquirer. The company recently rejected an offer of roughly $700-750 million from larger rival Flipkart. The final price, and the fate of the deal, now depend on negotiations between SoftBank Group Corp. and Tiger Global Management, the two largest shareholders in Snapdeal and Flipkart, respectively.

Also Read:

FreeCharge gets $3.4m from parent Jasper Infotech

India: Paytm likely to acquire rival FreeCharge at 80% discount

India: Softbank in talks to sell FreeCharge at half the price at $200m

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.