PayU invests $3.7mn in ZestMoney

Acquiring 20% minority stake in ZestMoney, a technology platform that enables Indian consumers to access digital credit products, provided by regulated banks and NBFCs, is part of the larger vision of PayU’s strategy in India.

New Delhi, 2 February 2016: PayU, the global FinTech solutions provider, announced an investment of USD 3.7 million in the Series A, out of a total $6.5mn funding round, shares of ZestMoney, at a fully diluted pre-money equity valuation of $12.0mn, corresponding to a 20.0% stake in ZestMoney. San Francisco based Ribbit Capital and Omidyar Networks, existing investors in ZestMoney, are also participating in the round.

The recent investment by PayU follows its acquisition of India’s leading payment technology player, Citrus Pay back in September, 2016. Both the deals demonstrate PayU’s strong commitment towards the emerging markets, especially India and towards creating a strong powerhouse of FinTech services.

Headquartered in Bangalore, ZestMoney is a technology platform that enables Indian consumers to access digital credit products, provided by regulated banks and NBFCs. Their pioneering ‘Cardless EMI’, enables online merchants to offer a seamless checkout financing solution to their customers. Merchants who partner with ZestMoney see a significant increase in checkout conversions, increase in average transaction size as well as higher levels of customer loyalty and retention.

Raj Kamal, Global Head of Strategy and Corporate Development (Investments, M&A), Naspers Fintech-PayU said, “2016 has been a landmark year for PayU, inspired with the vision of becoming the leading FinTech brand. Following the rampant changes in the economy, especially the sudden demonetization, the consumer credit landscape in India is set for major overhauls. ZestMoney is creating a unique value for the users, by offering checkout credit. Furthermore, coming with a strong risk-background, the management team at ZestMoney facilitated the decision. PayU, with its customers and the assets owned by Naspers, along with ZestMoney’s product innovation, stands a chance of creating significant value for Indian users who are increasingly becoming ambitious and tech-savvy.”

Jitendra Gupta, MD, PayU India added, “ZestMoney has achieved good initial traction in the space of consumer financing and we are excited to partner with them. ZestMoney team is very ambitious and impressive in solving the credit access problem in India. The investment of minority stake in ZestMoney is part of the larger vision of PayU’s credit portfolio strategy in India and we will continue to push forward our vision with combination of organic and investment approach.”

Lizzie Chapman, CEO & Co-Founder, ZestMoney said “PayU’s investment in ZestMoney is a strong validation of the technology platform we have built. This investment will help us develop our product and scale our business, enabling more consumers in India to access digital consumer finance, via our wider partner network. The timing of this deal could not have been better, given the current momentum behind creating cashless, digital financial services in India”

Founded in 2015, ZestMoney started operations in January 2016, having raised seed capital from Ribbit Capital and Omidyar. ZestMoney operates a B2B2C model where it partners with online merchants to offer consumer finance for online purchases with a ticket size ranging from $75-$1500 (INR 5k-100k) and flexible tenure of up to 24 months.

The company has shown impressive growth in just 10 months of operations, offering a simple & intuitive product, and is building a robust tech platform to drive credit. Given the untapped market potential of consumer credit, a compelling business model, and capable management team, ZestMoney is a solution to reckon in this space. PayU can add value by giving ZestMoney access to its customer & merchant base and that of certain members the Naspers Group (e.g., OLX, Make My Trip/Ibibo Group, etc.)