Razorpay buys majority stake in Malaysia-based fintech Curlec


Digital payments and financial services unicorn, Razorpay Software Pvt Ltd, has acquired a majority stake in Malaysia-based fintech firm Curlec, marking its first international acquisition, the company said on Tuesday. 

While the deal amount was not disclosed, Harshil Mathur, Co-founder and Chief Exeuctive Officer of Razorpay told the media that the acquisition values Curlec at $19-20 million. Mathur added Razorpay will be buying a 100% stake in Curlec in the next 12-18 months. 

Curlec marks Razorpay’s fourth acquisition overall. The entire team of Curlec will be retained after the acquisition, Mathur said. 

Curlec, based in Kuala Lampur, offers a platform for recurring payments, using new technology solutions, that enables companies to manage cash flows and collect recurring payments. The company was founded by Zac Liew and Steve Kucia in 2018. 

Curlec claims to be working with many businesses such as AXA, fintech lending firm Funding Societies, and Axiata Digital among others in Malaysia. Curlec also claims that its annual revenue has been growing at almost 5X since 2018.  

Curlec’s acquisiton will enable Razorpay to scale payment solutions for Malaysia’s businesses and enable global payments for its businesses, the company said. Razorpay is aiming to become a one-stop destination for all payment and banking needs of businesses in India and in Malaysia with the acquisition of Curlec, it said. 

Razorpay said it is betting on Southeast Asia as the region is witnessing a significant financial transformation over the last few years with changing consumer and retail trends and inclusive payment options.  

Moreover, Razorpay said that e-commerce in Malaysia has an estimated market size of $21 billion and is expected to surpass $35 billion by 2025, citing an industry report. The company expects mobile payment methods further enable growth in Malaysia’s e-commerce market. 

“Recurring payments is the dominant mode of payments in Malaysia, unlike in India. Curlec does recurring payments and it also does one-time payments, and after this investment we will be working with them to enable them to scale broader and deeper into the ecosystem in Malaysia,” said Mathur addressing the press. 

Razorpay said Malaysian shoppers are more open to cross-border shopping as 40% of online transactions happening cross-border. As ecommerce in Malaysia is penetrating deeper, a broader range of payment services are required to cater to the new e-commerce customers, Razoapay said.  

“With a measured approach, we look forward to learning the nuances of Malaysia, their business and customer needs, and slowly adapt and build products tailored to the Southeast Asia geography. Together, we are confident that we will be optimally positioned to take on the unique challenges that both India and Malaysian markets put forth, and look forward to reimagining and transforming the payments ecosystem in Southeast Asia,” Mathur said. 

Prior to Curlec’s acquisition, Razorpay acquired TERA Finlabs, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based risk tech SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform last year. The company also acquired Opfin, a payroll and HR management solution in 2019.

In 2018, Razorpay marked its first acquisition with Thirdwatch, a fraud analytics AI-platform. VCCircle in January reported that the company is in early talks to pick up a majority stake in Bengaluru-based payment solutions provider, Ezetap Mobile Solutions Pvt Ltd. 

In December last year, Razorpay had raised $375 million as a part of its Series-F fundraise co-led by hedge and private equity firms Lone Pine Capital, Alkeon Capital and TCV, which had pushed its valuation over seven and a half times to $7.5 billion. The company is currently the highest-valued private fintech firm in India, and second-highest after Paytm’s parent One97 Communications Ltd. 

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