Bajaj Finance buys stake in MobiKwik at $327 mn valuation
Photo Credit: Mukul Mudgal/VCCircle

Bajaj Finance Ltd said on Wednesday it will acquire a 10.83% stake in mobile wallet company MobiKwik for about Rs 225 crore ($35.4 million).

The non-banking financial company said in a stock-exchange filing that it has entered into an agreement with One MobiKwik Systems Pvt. Ltd to acquire 10 equity shares and 271,050 compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS). After conversion of the CCPS, the company will hold a 10.83% equity stake in MobiKwik on a fully diluted basis, it added.

The mobile wallet firm had been in talks with existing as well as new investors for the past six months to raise about $100 million in a new round of funding at a valuation of $1 billion (Rs 6,400 crore). But the deal with Bajaj Finance values MobiKwik around Rs 2,077 crore ($327 million).

Bajaj Finance said the investment is intended to support its existing lines of businesses, develop front-end applications for users availing its financial services, and to enable its customers to have a one-stop solution for all debit and credit spends.

Rajeev Jain, managing director, Bajaj Finance Ltd, said, “We aim to combine the synergies of both the organisations – deep-rooted customer analytics and extreme focus on digital-oriented eco-system will make this a disruptive proposition amongst our existing products. Bringing in debit and credit option in one app will facilitate stronger customer convenience, stimulating higher spends.”

MobiKwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh said the deal will enable the company realise its vision of performing all the functions of a bank yet retain its core competency of being an e-wallet. “In short, Mobikwik transforms itself as a new-age bank where our digital transactions will lead to lowering of lending rates and increased supply of money in the Indian economy,” he said.

Bajaj Finance said the conclusion of the transaction is subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.

MobiKwik, which claims to have a network of more than 15 lakh direct merchants and over 55 million plus users, has raised about $80 million from Sequoia Capital, Net1, Tree Line Asia, Cisco Investments, American Express and MediaTek so far.

This is the second such deal in the country's mobile wallet space within a week, where financial services companies have picked up stakes in mobile wallets to boost their digital businesses. Last week, private-sector lender Axis Bank agreed to acquire the struggling e-commerce firm Snapdeal’s digital payments platform FreeCharge for about Rs 385 crore ($60 million).

With this, India's all three wallet players have more or less turned into financial services firms. The most popular wallet Paytm recently pivoted to a payments bank.

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