Walmart’s Stake In Digital Payments Platform PhonePe Drops To 85%


According to media reports, American retail giant Walmart’s stake in PhonePe reduced to about 85 per cent at the end of April. Three months earlier it used to own 89 per cent. The digital payments giant sold new shares to raise funds as part of a USD 1 billion fundraise plan.

PhonePe’s parent Walmart, said in its US Securities and Exchange Commission quarterly report, that during the three months ending April 30, 2023, the firm received USD 0.5 billion in fresh rounds of equity fundraising for its majority-owned subsidiary PhonePe. According to the firm, this lowered the stake to around 85 per cent.

PhonePe has raised USD 850 million in five transactions since January, including investments from private equity companies General Atlantic, Ribbit Capital, and Tiger Global.

Walmart also contributed USD 200 million to the fintech’s current investment in March. The funds are being raised at a USD 12 billion pre-money valuation, making it the most valuable privately held fintech in the country. Walmart acquired PhonePe as part of its 2018 acquisition of Flipkart, an ecommerce startup.

The business launched up the ongoing investment round after it was hived off from Flipkart in December last year. The round started with General Atlantic investing USD 350 million in January, followed by an investment of USD 100 million jointly from fintech investor Ribbit Capital, TVS Capital Funds and Tiger Global. After Walmart pumped capital, General Atlantic committed another USD 200 million over April and May.

According to media reports, Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal was also in talks to invest USD 100-150 million in PhonePe.

Post the split off from Flipkart, PhonePe has been aiming to double down on its offerings apart from unified payments interface (UPI), in which it is a market leader.

Earlier this year, PhonePe tried to acquire buy-now, pay-later startup ZestMoney. However, the deal fell through because of concerns raised during the due diligence.

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