PayU, the payments and FinTech business of Prosus, is planning to inject up to $200 million (R2.8 billion) in the new digital lending leader in India.
The merger is subject to regulatory and other legal approvals including by the Reserve Bank of India.
To create the new PayU Credit unit, PayU intends to acquire a controlling stake in PaySense and all its assets at a valuation of $185 million (R2.6 billion).
PayU also plans to inject up to $200 million (R2.8 billion) in the new enterprise in the form of equity capital; $65 million (R921 million) of the total amount will be invested immediately, with the balance to be invested over the next 24 months.
While in India the share of adults with a bank account has more than doubled since 2011 to over 80%, access to credit remains limited for those without the credit histories traditional lenders rely on to make lending decisions. BCG research shows that India’s digital lending market represents a $1 trillion opportunity over the next five years.
PayU entered the credit space in India with the creation of LazyPay in 2017.
LazyPay is a market leader in the “pay later” and the microcredit space in India: last year it helped more than 1.2 million unique borrowers and facilitated more than 42 million credit transactions. More than 250 merchants now offer LazyPay at their checkouts. LazyPay uses technology to offer credit at the point of purchase which may not otherwise be available to customers.
Founded in 2015, PaySense offers personal loans in 43 major cities in India and has issued over 120,000 loans to over 75,000 unique borrowers, using alternative data to underwrite credit. It provides a mobile-first digital personal loan product. PayU is an existing shareholder having participated in PaySense’s Series A and B funding rounds.
Prashant Ranganathan, PaySense CEO, will become CEO of the combined business, PayU Credit. PaySense’s management team of seasoned technology and FinTech experts will join the PayU Credit team.
The merger will accelerate PayU’s vision of creating an Indian FinTech ecosystem that can serve more of the new-to-credit Indian population. The unified digital credit platform will enable third parties such as banks, non-banking financial companies and alternate lenders to co-lend and grow assets, while also enabling borrowers to seamlessly access credit at the point of need.
The transaction reinforces Prosus’s long-term commitment to India, having invested close to $5 billion in its Indian operations and partner companies over the past five years. In addition to the investments in the payments and FintTch sector, Prosus has also invested in technology-led companies focused on food delivery, education, ecommerce, and travel amongst other things.
“Technology has the power to completely transform people’s access to financial services and the credit market in India is poised for further digital disruption. This merger will accelerate PayU’s vision of a flourishing alternative credit ecosystem in India,” Laurent Le Moal, CEO, PayU, said.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to integrate with this fast-growing business and build a full-stack digital lending platform, that will enable us to unlock credit and financial services to millions of underserved consumers. This is our biggest opportunity yet to truly democratise credit in India.”