Amazon deposits more money into Indian digital payments arm

Amazon deposits more money into Indian digital payments arm
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Amazon Pay (India) Pvt. Ltd, the local digital payments arm of the global e-commerce major, has received a fresh funding infusion of Rs 230 crore ($33.6 million at current exchange rates).

According to the company’s latest filings to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the latest round of infusion was made on June 28 by its US-based parent Inc. and Singapore-based arm Amazon Corporate Holdings Pvt. Ltd.

This marks the third such infusion after Amazon Pay increased its authorised share capital by five times to Rs 2,000 crore last October. It had received Rs 195 crore in March this year and Rs 260 crore in October 2017, regulatory filings show. 

Previously, Amazon Pay had received Rs 67 crore and Rs 130 crore in May and July 2017.

The latest round of infusion values Amazon Pay India around Rs 1,067 crore ($156 million).

“We plan to further develop new innovative services for our customers and continue to drive adoption for Amazon Pay,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed response. “We are committed to the long-term vision of a less-cash India and continue to invest in experiences which reduce customer friction, improve affordability and foster everyday habits, thereby building preference for digital payments.”

Amazon's fintech play

The e-commerce behemoth has been making frequent infusions into its various Indian arms as part of efforts to capture a dominant share of the Indian online retail market. Its focus on digital payments, a critical piece of the Indian e-commerce puzzle, is part of that strategy.

In May, media reports said it invested an undisclosed sum in Bangalore-based Naffa Innovations Pvt. Ltd, which operates mobile payments technology platform ToneTag.

In February, it hired the former head of financial services at main rival Flipkart. Mayank Jain, who was credited  with launching Flipkart’s ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ initiative, will focus on strategic initiatives at Amazon Pay.

At a global level, Amazon has been in the news for its several initiatives in the financial services sector. The company is believed to be exploring a deeper foray into payments, lending and insurance. A recent report by data research and intelligence firm CB Insights said that India and Mexico are at the forefront of Amazon’s fintech innovations.

Amazon rival Flipkart is also not far behind as it recently committed $500 million to its in-house payments arm PhonePe.

Last week, VCCircle exclusively reported that PhonePe was in advanced talks to acquire the point of sale software-as-a-service platform run by Tiger Global-backed Zopper. PhonePe confirmed the deal on Monday.