BharatPe acquires loyalty platform PAYBACK, aims to expand merchant base to 20 million by 2023

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BharatPe's acquisition of PAYBACK from American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund, is its first in India. The value of the deal remains undisclosed

Merchant payments provider BharatPe has acquired loyalty platform PAYBACK from American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund, is its first in India. The value of the deal remains undisclosed.
Post-acquisition, PAYBACK will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of BharatPe and will continue to offer its services to existing customers across India. PAYBACK allows users to earn and redeem points while shopping online or offline.
With this acquisition, BharatPe plans to help its 6 million small merchants and kirana store partners in attracting more customers through reward and loyalty programmes, the company said in a statement.
"We aim to empower the offline merchants with the ability to offer additional rewards, coupons or cashbacks to customers, to drive sales and customer stickiness," said Gautam Kaushik, Group President, BharatPe.
Additionally, BharatPe will seek to direct over 100 million existing PAYBACK users to its merchant partners. Thus, enabling the company to attract more merchants to its roster and the move fits into BharatPe's expansion strategy of growing its merchant base to over 20 million by 2023.
"We are committed to build India’s largest and most engaged merchant network," said Ashneer Grover, Co-Founder and CEO, BharatPe.
BharatPe offers merchants a single QR code to accept all payment apps such as PayTm, PhonePe, Google Pay, BHIM and 150+ other UPI apps. Currently operating across 100 cities in India, BharatPe's merchant payments app processes more than 10 crore UPI transactions per month amounting to an annual transaction value of over $10 billion.
Soon, BharatPe may become the latest fintech entrant in the Unicorn club, joining payment peers Paytm and PhonePe.
In February, 2020, the company said it had raised $108 million in a Series D funding round at a valuation of $900 million. The round was led by the company's existing investor Coatue Management. Other existing investors - Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo and Sequoia Capital - participated in the round as well.
A month earlier, the company announced that it had secured $35 million in its single-largest debt fundraise from Alteria Capital, InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital.
So far, the company has raised close to $300 million in both equity and debt modes since its inception in 2018.
Going forward, the company plans to raise $500-700 million in debt over the next two years to extend credit support to its merchant partners. "As we build the lending business at BharatPe, raising institutional debt is important to us," said Suhail Sameer, Group President, BharatPe.
The company has so far disbursed loans of over Rs 1,600 crore to merchants since it started its lending business.

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