Flipkart invests $80 mn into payments arm PhonePe

Flipkart invests $80 mn into payments arm PhonePe
Photo Credit: Reuters

Phonepe Pvt Ltd, the payment arm of homegrown e-commerce firm Flipkart, has received Rs 518.22 crore ($80 million) in a fresh funding round from its Singapore-based group entity, Flipkart Payments Pvt. Ltd, filings with the Registrar of Companies show.

A back of the envelope estimate by VCCircle indicated that the current transaction valued PhonePe, as a standalone entity, at roughly around $575 million (about Rs 3, 740 crore).

An e-mail query sent to PhonePe seeking comment on the development did not immediately elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

Flipkart last invested in PhonePe in October 2017. At that time, the e-commerce firm committed $500 million (Rs 3,254 crore) and Rs 254.43 crore ($38.7 million) into the payments arm.

PhonePe competes with Google Tez, WhatsApp and Paytm in the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments space.

Google launched is UPI-enabled mobile Tez in September 2017. In December 2017, the tech giant claimed that the app had acquired 12 million active users and processed more than 140 million transactions since its launch. Earlier this month, it also introduced a chat option in the payments app.

Likewise, last month, Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp also rolled out a pilot of it UPI-based payments service. The following month, The Economic Times reported that it is also developing features for enterprises that include customer support and merchant payments.

Around the time WhatsApp launched its UPI-based payments service, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma triggered controversy after implying that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) bent the rules to suit WhatsApp.

Earlier this month, PhonePe termed Paytm’s claim of being the largest player on UPI as “uni-dimensional and misleading”. Paytm, which went live on UPI only in November had last month claimed it accounted 40% of the total UPI-based transactions.