Payments solution provider BharatPe has acquired multi-brand loyalty management company Payback from American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund, for an approximate amount of $27 Mn, or INR 200 Cr plus.
BharatPe says the acquisition is part of its strategy to build a network of over 20 million small merchants by 2023. It will also enable the company to enhance its value proposition for the merchant partners. According to BharatPe, the acquisition will also help in building a lucrative set of offerings for end customers, that will enhance footfalls at merchants and accelerate the growth of their businesses. All current Payback employees will now be part of the BharatPe group.
Former CEO and MD of Payback and now Group President at BharatPe Gautam Kaushik, Suhail Sameer, who is also the group president at BharatPe, along with Sumeet Singh, General Counsel, BharatPe, have joined the board of Payback India.
BharatPe has said that the team of senior leadership at Payback, led by Pramod Mahanta and Rijish Raghavan, will be working closely with Gautam Kaushik, to build a new version of Payback. This team will be expanded to also work on the loyalty program for the 6 Mn + merchants of BharatPe. Payback will continue operating under its current name and there will be no impact on the existing customer and partner relationships. “PAYBACK India will continue to roll out initiatives to offer value for all customers across India,” BharatPe said.
Payback is a multi-brand loyalty programme that awards points while shopping that can be redeemed for discounts later. It is said to have a network of more than 100 offline and online partners and allows its customers to earn and redeem points on every transaction at its partner merchant outlets. According to the company website, Payback members can earn and redeem PAYBACK Points at the platform’s in-store and online partners which include groceries, fuel, entertainment, travel, apparel brands, and more.
Payback was founded in 2011, and controlled by US-based financial services company American Express, where Gautam Kaushik worked for a decade before being made the CEO and MD of Payback.
“With the acquisition of PAYBACK India, we will be able to add a whole new dimension to our merchant value proposition. In addition to the range of payment and credit products which BharatPe offers to help merchants scale their business, we will also be able to drive more consumers to their stores,” said Ashneer Grover, cofounder and CEO, BharatPe on the acquisition.
BharatPe was cofounded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018 and claims to have launched India’s first UPI interoperable QR code, first zero MDR payment acceptance service, and first UPI payment backed merchant cash advance service.
The company’s list of marquee investors includes Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo, Sequoia Capital and Coatue Management which led a Series D round that raised $108 Mn and brought BharatPe a post-money valuation of $900 Mn.