Mehta was appointed as the MD of the payments wallet startup for four years from August 20, 2019, to August 19, 2023
According to Mehta’s LinkedIn account, he left Freecharge in February 2023, after a stint of nearly four years
Freecharge was sold by Snapdeal to Axis Bank, India’s third-largest lender, for INR 385 Cr ($60 Mn) in an all-cash deal
Axis Bank-owned payments startup Freecharge MD and CEO Siddharth Mehta has moved on from the company. Axis Bank-owned payments startup Freecharge MD and CEO Siddharth Mehta has moved on from the company to start his own venture.
Mehta was appointed as the MD of the payments wallet startup for four years from August 20, 2019, to August 19, 2023, Mint reported.
According to Mehta’s LinkedIn account, he left Freecharge in February 2023, after a stint of nearly four years.
Mehta first joined the startup in July 2018 as a chief business officer, having been with Axis Bank for nearly three years before that.
He replaced Sangram Singh who was hired by Axis Bank after acquiring Freecharge from Snapdeal in 2017. Singh had then left the payments company to join Indifi Technologies, a lendingtech startup, as president, coming back to Axis Bank as commercial banking group head.
As per the Registrar of Companies (RoC) data, Mehta started his own fintech venture, Gokiwi Tech Pvt Ltd, along with former Axis Bank and PayU executive Mohit Bedi. The company was registered in November 2022 and named Stellaris Venture Partners’ Ritesh Banglani as one of the directors.
The RoC mentions Gokiwi’s activities as “auxiliary to financial intermediation, except insurance and pension funding.”
Coming back to Freecharge, having been first acquired by Snapdeal in 2015, it was then sold to Axis Bank, India’s third-largest lender, for INR 385 Cr ($60 Mn) in an all-cash deal.
Founded by CRED founder Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon in 2010, Freecharge is a digital payments provider, offering services such as mobile recharges, bill payments and more via the UPI network and its native wallet. Snapdeal had reached a peak valuation of $5 Bn at one point and acquired Freecharge for around $400-500 Mn.
At the time, the bank had stated that the acquisition would double its customer base. Axis Bank got access to the 50 Mn Freecharge users at the time of the acquisition. Under the lender, the payments app has grown significantly and has also turned profitable.
For FY22, Freecharge reported INR 287 Cr in operating revenue; whereas the profits dropped to INR 23 Cr from INR 37 Cr in FY21, according to a Mint report.
Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a list of payment aggregators which had applied for a licence with the central bank. While Freecharge was on the list, the RBI returned its application and directed it to reapply within 120 days.
Correction Note | March 06; 3:30 PM
- A previous version of the article erroneously mentioned that Freecharge had a peak valuation of $5Bn, instead of Snapdeal. We have edited portions of the article to fix this error