When it came to a decision on whether to go public or raise investments from a specialised partner to chart out the next phase of growth for what was arguably India’s first pure play ‘fintech’ that now handles more than half of the country’s online billing transactions, co-founders of BillDesk MN Srinivasu, Ajay Kaushal and Karthik Ganpathy, along with their other investors, decided on the latter option. A bet different to what Paytm, one of its biggest rivals in the payments gateway segment, seems to have taken as it gears up for its proposed $2.2 billion IPO.
On Tuesday, Dutch conglomerate Prosus announced 100 per cent acquisition of BillDesk for $4.7 billion. Prosus operates in India’s fintech space through its unit PayU. Post the acquisition, the two brands will continue to operate separately at least for some time, given the deep relationships each of them have with their merchants and banks. For the three co-founders, the deal presents an opportunity to run their business at an even higher scale with backing of a deep-pocketed investor like Prosus, as they plan to stay on even after selling their stakes.