Payments and finance

PhonePe will start selling mutual funds, under a new business entity called PhonePe Wealth Services, on its platform, reports the Economic Times. The company aims to segregate its regulated and unregulated businesses. It will partner with existing players to expand its portfolio.


The RBI has reportedly asked financial P2P lenders to submit lender, borrower, financial profile, total exposure of participants and their financial health details to it on a quarterly basis, reports the Economic Times.


Digital lender NeoGrowth has tied up with financial marketplace to offer swipe machine or POS based loans to small and medium scale enterprises. The companies claim that this partnership has increased their POS based loan business by 100% during October-December 2018 over the previous quarter. Its largest POS based disbursal through Paisabazaar is a loan of Rs 40 lakh to Chennai-based ‘BG Aadhithya Collection’.

NeoGrowth claims to have 13,000 MSME merchants across 21 cities.


PayNearby has launched BharatQR payments, following the release of AePS in partnership with NPCI and YES Bank. This will let merchants accept payments through BharatQR, which would be through BHIM UPI for users at the merchants’ shops. PayNearby claims to have 400,000 retail partners.


Cashfree has partnered with PhonePe to let is users pay via PhonePe. Cashfree says that 5,000 merchants will be able to accept PhonePe as a payment method. Cashfree claims to do over 4 million transactions monthly, with volume growing 50% month on month (timeframe unspecified).


Digital lender CASHe has launched BuddyTransfer which lets its users send a loan of upto Rs 2,000 to 5 of their friends in their phone’s contact list. The friend need not be a CASHe user, however after the non CASHe user gets an SMS, they have to download the CASHe app, fill out their bank and KYC details to claim the amount. Note that CASHe has to approve the loan before it is sent to the friend.

CASHe does not specify what its criteria to approve the loan is, we think it most likely could be the KYC details. CASHe claims that BuddyTransfer is built on blockchain. The company claims that it disburses a loan in an average of 8 minutes after all documents are in place.


MIMO, a Delhi based startup, has crossed 300,000 MFI and NBFC transactions in Q2 and Q3 2018. MIMO claims to connect rural youth with corporates/service providers through an “organised network of rural agents,” the company said in a statement.

  • In Q2, MIMO had 149,134 transactions coming from Data Verification (44,162), Document Collection (41,704) and Payment Collection (31,472)
  • In Q3, MIMO had 155,944 transactions coming from Payment Collection (50,922) leading the numbers, followed by Data Verification (48,928), and Document Collection (27,302)
  • Total monetary worth of transactions crossed Rs 5 crores (Rs 2,10,94,062 in Q2, and Rs 3,21,53,106  in Q3)

MIMO claims to have 2,500 “active” field agents across 12 states. It provides services like data verification for banks and companies in rural areas, last mile delivery for ecommerce companies, bill payments, eKYC collection, documents and data collection. It counts Aditya Birla Finance, Myntra, TATA Teleservices, HERO Fincorp, CarDekho, etc as clients. The company claims that its agents earn Rs 30,000 – 40,000 per month, depending on the number of tasks.



Woohoo, the online gift card company, says that e-gifting in non-metro towns and cities across India is on the rise. It claims that the market has grown 2.5 times across India since 2017.  

Some numbers:

  • The average spend on a gift card grew to Rs 3,000 in 2018, a 20% rise since 2017
  • Ahmedabad, Patna, Indore, Jaipur, Agra, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Kochi, Sonipat and Lucknow saw 3x to 5x growth between 2017-18
  • Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai are amongst the top 5 cities in terms of gift card consumption, followed by Mumbai and Pune
  • E-commerce gift cards grew 4 times since 2017, while grocery and fashion increased 3x and 2x respectively
  • Gifting physical gift cards grew by 1.5x in 2018 over 2017. 90% of gift card purchases were done via mobile through 2017 and 2018.
  • E-gift cards are in higher demand in non-metros, where 95% of the transactions are done digitally.
  • Approximately 85% of gift card users in India are below 35 years of age, a majority attributed to the non-metros. Approximately 90% are below 35 years and 55% below the age of 25. 50% of the buyers across India are below 24 years.
  • Gifting on Diwali and Rakshabandhan saw 6x and 4x growth respectively.
  • In 2018, the ticket sizes for non-occasion specific gift cards grew from Rs 50 to Rs 50,000.

Woohoo’s 2019 predictions:

  • Gift card consumption will “transcend traditional gifting occasions.”
  • Mobile will continue to be the popular medium of choice for gift card transactions
  • Travel gift cards will drive consumption in 2019
  • Gift cards will find more acceptance among an older audience (35+), driven by grocery and travel gift cards. The user base in non-metros will skew towards the below 25 years category
  • In the next 2 years, non-metros will contribute approximately 40% of the overall gift card purchases
  • The average amount spent on a gift card purchase is expected to touch Rs 3,100, including in non-metros
  • Food & beverages, jewelry and entertainment are expected to grow by 5x
  • Group gifting via gift cards is expected to grow by 3x


Travel and hotels

OYO has seen a 5X growth in Indonesia, the company said in a statement. It is adding 70 hotels monthly and will grow to 100 cities in Indonesia by the end of 2019. It will invest $100 million towards this expansion including Yogyakarta, Bandung and Surabaya. It will enter Bali over the next 11 months.