Visa picks up minority stake in digital payments gateway Billdesk

Mumbai-based digital payments gateway Billdesk has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from US-based payments processor Visa. The latest investment marks Visa’s first investment for a minority stake in India.

The latest investment will help Billdesk develop new product lines for its payment and loyalty businesses and expand its footprint into other geographies.

According to an ET report, the transaction is expected to be a mix of primary and secondary investment. The primary investment is speculated to be $200 million, while the secondary investment is estimated to be around $80-100 million, involving the purchase of shares from founders and investors, taking the total investment to around $300 million.

While the details have not been confirmed by either Visa or Billdesk, the Indian payments gateway is expected to have crossed $1 billion in valuation, entering the coveted unicorn club.

According to media reports, Visa’s latest investment is not expected to have any direct bearings on its existing Indian business.

The investment is also crucial, as it comes at a time when international players like Visa and MasterCard are losing ground to the Indian government-backed digital payments players like RuPay Card and Unified Payment Interface (UPI).

Billdesk was founded by M N Srinivasu, Ajay Kaushal and Karthik Ganapathy in 2000. The gateway was created with the aim to simply payments process by leveraging technology. It processes over $60 billion of digital payments a year and provides customers payment options, including credit cards and online wallets, to carry out purchases.

Earlier in January 2016, Billdesk raised an undisclosed amount of funds from March Capital Partners. It also counts TA Associates, State Bank Of India, and Clearstone Venture Partners, among its investors.

In the Indian market, Billdesk competes with Naspers-owned PayU and Infibeam-owned CCAvenue, and Tiger Global-backed Razorpay, among others.

Recently, it was reported that Tiger Global grabbed ESOPs from Razorpay employees in a secondary deal.

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