Amsterdam-based Prosus makes its biggest bet in India with the acquisition of payments startup BillDesk for $4.7 billion
Prosus, Europe’s answer to SoftBank and its Vision Fund, is making its biggest-ever bet in the Indian tech space with a $4.7 billion acquisition for payments fintech startup BillDesk, making it one of the biggest players in the country’s fast-growing fintech sector.
Best known for its 28.9% stake in China’s Tencent, Amsterdam-based Prosus announced today that it has reached an agreement with PayU and the shareholders of the Indian digital payments provider BillDesk to acquire BillDesk for US$4.7 billion.
According to the announcement, Prosus said BillDesk will complement its own PayU business, which operates in India, Latin America, and Europe. “The proposed acquisition will see PayU, the payments, and fintech business of Prosus which operates in more than 20 high-growth markets, become one of the leading online payment providers globally by total payment volume (TPV),” Prosus said in a statement.
“This is really a transformative transaction for PayU and its position as one of the leading payment and fintech providers in India and actually in the world,” Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk said on a media call.
Founded in 2000, BillDesk is an Indian success story and one of the leading payment businesses in the country. PayU currently processed $55 billion in payments as of the end of March 2021, a 51% increase on the previous year. India has been a major focus for Prosus but the BillDesk deal is its biggest investment there to date.
We wrote about Prosus back in April after the company had a windfall of $232 billion from its $32 million investment in Chinese gaming giant Tencent. Prosus, which was spun out of Naspers of South Africa in 2019, owns stakes in consumer internet companies in online marketplaces, fintech startups, educational software, and food delivery. Prosus also operates some of the companies it has stakes in.
Prosus’s parent company, Naspers Ltd., is Africa’s largest listed company and a global consumer internet group, and one of the largest technology investors in the world. In 2001, Naspers made an early, successful investment of US$32 million, for a 30.9% stake in Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent before it went public