Snapdeal, the e-commerce marketplace which owns and operates FreeCharge, has reportedly cleared Axis Bank’s offer for the acquisition of the payments platform.
Axis Bank, the third largest private sector bank in India, was said to be in the final stages of discussion to acquire payments platform FreeCharge. The proposed deal will value FreeCharge at ₹385-390 crore, as per the people aware of the development.
The official announcement of the sale is expected to take place by the end of this week.
The conclusion of the deal marks a closure to a two-year long process during which Gurgaon-based Jasper Infotech – which also owns and operates online marketplace Snapdeal—has also sought to raise fresh funding for the payments platform.
This development comes on the heels of Snapdeal board approving Flipkart’s ₹6100 crore acquisition offer for the struggling e-commerce company. The FreeCharge acquisition is expected to strengthen Axis Bank’s offerings in the consumer focussed digital payments space.
Earlier, we had reported that Axis Bank was among the frontrunners for the acquisition of the online payments platform from troubled eCommerce marketplace Snapdeal.
Along with Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, which recently launched its payments bank service in India, was also named as a frontrunner.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Amazon India, which is also said to launch its own wallet payment service, had submitted a bid for the acquisition. Apart from these three companies, FreeCharge rival Paytm and MobiKwik had also made an offer to acquire the payments startup.
This deal also marks a significant drop in the company’s valuation – at just ₹385-390 crore, which was acquired by Snapdeal a couple of years ago for around ₹2400 crore, which at the time, was the biggest acquisition in the Indian startup sector.