India: Flipkart to invest $500m in its payments arm PhonePe

Photo: REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

E-commerce major Flipkart has committed to invest $500 million in its group payments platform PhonePe, which is scaling its operations.

Since its acquisition in 2015, Flipkart has invested a total of $75 million in PhonePe, the company said in a statement on Thursday. This includes PhonePe’s funding of $38.7 million from Flipkart early this month.

“The investment will be used to scale up our technology platforms, and expand our merchant network and consumer base rapidly. We have been growing at over 100 per cent every two months this year, and this investment will help us maintain the same aggressive growth rate for the next two years,” said Sameer Nigam, co-founder and CEO, PhonePe.

PhonePe users can send and receive money, recharge mobile, DTH, data cards, make utility payments and shop online and offline. It claims to have over 45 million installs on its app.

“PhonePe is a critical part of our overall strategy at Flipkart to build a comprehensive ecosystem for our customers. We’re fully committed to make PhonePe the most preferred digital payments app in India,” said Binny Bansal, group CEO, Flipkart.

Recently, Flipkart closed its $4-billion funding round from Japan’s SoftBank Corporation and Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent. Last week, Flipkart received its board approval to buy back employee stock options (ESOP) worth $100 million.

Flipkart has also allocated $460 million funding to its logistics arm Ekart early this week.

Global rival Amazon is also investing money to expand its payments business. It recently announced to invest Rs 1,600 crore in its payments arm Amazon Pay India.

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