U.S. based digital payment giant Visa is in the final stage of discussion to invest over $250 million in the Mumbai headquartered payments gateway company BillDesk.
The investment is likely to value BillDesk at around $1.5-2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The investment will give the coveted unicorn status to the eight-year-old Fintech startup.
Sources claim that BillDesk’s management has decided to call off discussion on strategic sale and has now settled for raising more funds. Sources further claimed that the funding will be a combination of primary and secondary transactions.
“The deal is in the final stages of completion, it’s the valuation which is being negotiated,” a person on the condition of anonymity said. He added that the management is trying very hard to bargain for a higher valuation.
American equity giant General Atlantic already owns 20% stake in the Mumbai based Fintech startup, which was picked up in 2016 at a market valuation of roughly $800 Mn.
Since its inception in 2000, BillDesk has steadily grown to emerge as India’s largest online payment processing companies. Today it stands as one of the rarely profitable Fintech startups. It competes with established players like PayU, CCAvenue and nascent startups like RazorPay.
However, India’s online payment industry is going through a major overhaul as big names like WhatsApp Pay, Google Tez and Flipkart’s PhonePe has already made the market intensely competitive. With the help of Visa’s investment, BillDesk will mainly look to gain strong foothold in merchant acquisition and thereby further strengthen its place amid the intense competition.
Both BillDesk and Visa have so far declined to comment on the news report. Email sent to BillDesk did not elicit any response, while Visa spokesperson said that the company does not comment on speculative reports.