Flipkart-owned payments platform PhonePe has announced that it has acquired Zopper Retail, a hyperlocal point-of-sale platform for small and medium businesses. As a part of the acquisition, Neeraj Jain, founder-CEO, Zopper will join the PhonePe team as head of product, offline merchant solutions. Media reports also said that 32 other employees of Zopper will be joining PhonePe. However, the affinity and extended warranty programmes of Zopper will continue to function under Surjendu Kuila, its co-founder, reports said. Other terms of the deal, however, were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Zopper is part of PhonePe’s aggressive strategy to build its offline payments business and thereby expand its customer base. Last year, PhonePe has even developed its own PoS (Point of Sale) device based on Bluetooth technology to process and boost its offline transactions. With this acquisition, the Flipkart owned digital payments company will hope to merge the value-added service capabilities of Zopper into its platform, thereby strengthening its offline proposition for merchants.
Zopper, on the other hand, had raised about $20 million from institutional investors like Tiger Global, Nirvana Ventures and Blume Ventures in the past. Flipkart’s co-founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal had also made angel investments in Zopper in 2012. Founded in 2010, Zopper was initially a community-based product review site which then pivoted into a hyperlocal e-commerce site. In 2015-16, Zopper pivoted again and split its business into two distinct divisions – a Point of Sale platform for offline merchants (Zopper Retail) and an extended warranty solutions unit for electronics purchased at offline outlets (Zopper Assure), reports the VCcircle.
PhonePe will hope that the acquisition will help the firm in the intensely competitive payments platform segment. Amongst its biggest competitors are India’s biggest payment company Paytm and Google’s Tez. Last year, Flipkart made a commitment that it will invest $500 million in PhonePe to fight off competition.