Merchant payment and lending service provider BharatPe on Thursday said it has acquired Payback India from American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund. The company, however, did not disclose the financial details of the transaction. This is the first-ever acquisition by BharatPe and will make Payback India a wholly-owned subsidiary of BharatPe, a statement said.
Payback India - launched in 2010 - is a multi-brand loyalty programme with over 100 million members in the country. It has a network of more than 100 offline and online partners and allows its customers to earn and redeem points on every transaction at its partner merchant outlets.
The acquisition of Payback India is in line with BharatPe's strategy to build a robust and engaged network of over 20 million small merchants by 2023, the statement said. With Payback India, BharatPe will be able to enhance its value proposition for the merchant partners, it added.
Additionally, it will enable BharatPe to build a lucrative set of offerings for end customers, that will enhance footfalls at merchants and accelerate the growth of their businesses. As a result of the acquisition, all Payback India employees will become part of the BharatPe group.
Suhail Sameer and Gautam Kaushik (Group Presidents at BharatPe) along with Sumeet Singh, General Counsel of BharatPe, have joined the Board of Payback India. The role of the senior leadership team at Payback India will be expanded to also work on the loyalty programme for the six-million plus merchants of BharatPe, it added.
The team, led by Pramod Mahanta (MD Payback India) and Rijish Raghavan (Chief Executive Officer at Payback India), will be working closely with Gautam Kaushik to build a new version of Payback India. Notably, Kaushik was the CEO and MD of Payback India prior to joining BharatPe in February this year.
The company (Payback India) will continue operating under its current name and there will be no impact on the existing customer and partner relationships with Payback India that will continue to roll out initiatives for customers across India, the statement noted.
With the acquisition of Payback India, we will be able to add a whole new dimension to our merchant value proposition. In addition to the range of payment and credit products which BharatPe offers to help merchants scale their business, we will also be able to drive more consumers to their stores," BharatPe co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover said.
He added that the company is committed to build India's largest and most engaged merchant network and this acquisition will be a "game-changer" in that regard.
"...Users can collect points while shopping offline and online and benefit from exclusive offers in the usual way, now at even more merchants with BharatPe. We are convinced that the great Payback value for customers is guaranteed sustainably and in the long term with BharatPe as the new operator," Markus Knorr, CFO of Payback Global, said.
BharatPe at present provides a single interface for all existing UPI apps and allows merchants to accept UPI payments for free, through the BharatPe QR. It also supports merchants to access credit and other value-added services.
Founded in 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, the company currently serves over 60 lakh merchants across 100 cities. It processes over 10 crore UPI transactions per month (annualised Transaction Processed Value of more than USD 10 billion) and facilitated disbursement of loans totaling to over Rs 1,600 crores to its merchants since launch.
BharatPe's investors include Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo and Sequoia Capital.
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