Naspers’ grasp in India’s digital payments ecosystem is set to increase with the acquisition of Billdesk from the existing shareholders of IndiaIdeas.com Limited. Naspers, through PayU, will acquire a 100% stake in the company that runs complementary businesses with PayU in the India market that has seen exponential growth over the past three years.
Billdesk, a company founded in 2000, is an Indian success story in the digital payments business and manages one of the leading payment platforms in India. Naspers has agreed to a valuation of c. R68.7 billion payable at closing, with the two companies – PayU and Billdesk – expected to create a financial ecosystem handling over four billion transactions annually, four times PayU’s current level in that market.
According to the FY21 annual report of the Reserve Bank of India, the number of transactions for digital retail payments has grown by more than 80% from 24 billion in 2018-19 to 44 billion in 2020-21, which many analysts believe justifies Naspers’ move to buy the competition and merge the two businesses for a sizeable share of the market.
The transaction is subject to approval by the Competition Commission of India, with Naspers hoping together, PayU and Billdesk will be able to meet the changing payments needs of the digital consumers, merchants and government enterprises in India and offer state-of-the-art technology to even more of the excluded sections of society while adhering to the regulatory environment in India and delivering robust consumer protection.
Nasper was trading 5.67% higher at R2462.01 per share during the afternoon trade.