Indian digital payments company PhonePe announced on Friday that it has raised $200 million from majority backer Walmart Inc. PhonePe, already India’s most valuable payments company and among the country’s most valuable startups, said the investment is part of its ongoing fundraising of up to $1 billion.
In the past two months, it raised $350 million from private equity firm General Atlantic and $100 million from Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global and TVS Capital Funds at the same valuation of $12 billion.
US retail giant Walmart, which acquired a majority stake in PhonePe in 2018, will continue to be the majority investor, the Indian company said, without disclosing its stake.
Despite the financial winter, India’s digital payments space has been a bright spot due to the popularity of online payments and the ambitions of startups to branch out into the lucrative financial services space.
PhonePe said it plans to use the funds to build and expand new businesses including insurance, wealth management and lending. PhonePe spun off from Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart late last year, when it also moved its registered office from Singapore to India, with Walmart taking a nearly $1 billion tax on the move.
The relocation was, according to some reports, to facilitate easier entry into the country’s highly regulated financial services industry, particularly lending.
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