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Flipkart infuses $38.7 M in its payments arm PhonePe: reports

The unified payments interface (UPI) based payments app, PhonePe has received $38.7 million (Rs 254.43 crore) from its parent company Flipkart via its Singapore-based group company Flipkart Payments Pvt. Ltd., reports VCCircle. This investment in PhonePe was made on August 31, 2017, by allocating 1.76 million shares at Rs 1,445.29 per share to Flipkart Payments Pvt. Ltd.

This is the third tranche of funds injected in PhonePe, since it was acquired by Flipkart in April 2016. The earlier ones were:

October 2016: Rs 83.68 crore by allocating 4.18 million shares at Rs 200 per share.

April 2016: Rs 102.94 crore via allocation of 5.42 million shares at Rs 190 per share.

Sameer Nigam, PhonePe’s CEO, told ET that the funds will be utilised to add new members to the team and to increase marketing initiatives. He claimed that in August 2017, 45% of all UPI transactions happened on PhonePe.

PhonePe had launched an UPI-based Android app in partnership with Yes Bank, back in August last year, and by October had crossed 500,000 registered users. In May 2017, the company claimed to have processed 5.5 million transactions, of which UPI transactions accounted for 3.5 million or 70% of PhonePe’s overall transactions. Currently, PhonePe allows customers of 50 banks to pay via the app.

It recently entered the offline commerce space and has added over 25,000 merchants. The company claims that it controls 80% of merchant transactions on the UPI. It has also partnered with payment aggregators like Pine Labs and Commdel and is currently in the process of on-boarding more merchants via the aggregators. PhonePe is also going live with 15 pan-India offline chains in the next quarter, while in the online space, it is adding over 50 online merchants across food, travel, and shopping.

Flipkart, which has already raised close to $4 billion this year – $2.5 billion from SoftBank’s Vision Fund in August, and $1.4 billion from Microsoft, eBay and Tencent in April – also injected Rs 961.4 crore in its logistics arm eKart, last month.

Amazon Pay

Earlier this week, Amazon’s digital wallet service Amazon Pay increased its share capital from Rs 400 crore to Rs 2000 crore. Amazon has already infused funds into Amazon Pay twice this year: Rs 130 crore ($20.17 million) in July, and Rs 67 crore ($10.46 million) in May. Amazon Pay has been working towards offering more services. Currently, it works as a wallet service and as a faster refund option along with cash backs, while the balance in the wallet can be used to transact on other apps/services such as AbhiBus, Faasos, Justickets, Haptik, Housejoy, Box8, Byjus, and Café Coffee Day outlets among others. In August, it had also started beta testing mobile recharges in India.

As of now, Amazon’s total investment commitment in India stands at $5 billion: the $3 billion announced in June 2016, plus the $2 billion investment announced back in July 2014, which the company has already completed in phases over the past two years.

*Note that PhonePe is an advertiser with MediaNama.

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