Despite funding winters, Indian digital payments platform PhonePe, one of country’s highly valued startups, has raised additional USD 200 million in primary capital from American retail giant Walmart at a pre-money valuation of USD 12 billion.
PhonePe wants to utilize the fund to build and scale new businesses like insurance, wealth management, lending, stockbroking, ONDC-based shopping and account aggregators.
It’s Raining Funds!
The investment is a part of its ongoing fundraise of up to USD 1 billion in capital.
PhonePe separated from Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart last year. It also shifted its registered headquarters from Singapore to India for which Walmart picked up the nearly $1 billion tax bill.
PhonePe has raised USD 350 million from private equity firm General Atlantic and USD 100 million from Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global and TVS Capital Funds in the past two months, at the same USD 12 billion valuation.
The fundraise will also help PhonePe turbo-charge the next wave of growth for UPI payments in India, including UPI lite and Credit on UPI, PhonePe said in a statement.
''We would like to thank Walmart, our majority investor, for their continued support of our long-term aspirations. We are excited about the next phase of our growth as we build new offerings for Indian consumers and merchants, along with enabling financial inclusion across the nation," said Sameer Nigam, CEO and founder of PhonePe.
The company has so far successfully digitized over 3.5 crore offline merchants spread across tier 2,3,4 and beyond cities, covering 99% pin codes in the country.
Led by founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, PhonePe is also the leader in Bharat Bill Pay System (BBPS), processing over 45% of the transactions on the BBPS platform, the statement claimed.
"We are excited about PhonePe's future and have confidence in how it continues to expand its offerings and provide access to financial services for Indians at scale. India is one of the world's most digital, dynamic and fastest growing economies, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to continue to support PhonePe," said Judith McKenna, President and CEO for Walmart International.
Sunny week for Indian Startups
Indian startups saw a jump in funding in March this year as compared to same period last year, thanks to late-stage investments in startups like Lenskart and PhonePe. Despite the funding winters, PhonePe and Lenskart were able to raise upto USD 782 million this week across 25 rounds, a 34% jump compared to the same period last year when startups raised $582 across 66 rounds, according to data provided by market intelligence firm Tracxn.
According to statistics from National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), in February 2023 transaction of Rs 1,235,846.58 crore was done through UPI. Of this 46.70% of the transactions were done through PhonePe alone.