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Walmart’s PhonePe Acquires B2B Micro-Entrepreneur Platform GigIndia

Walmart’s PhonePe Acquires B2B Micro-Entrepreneur Platform GigIndia

PhonePe's platform has more than 365 Mn registered users and is also accepted at over 27 Mn merchant outlets across India

India’s freelance community is projected to grow to $20-30 Bn by 2025

PhonePe’s core offerings with the Walmart-owned player enjoying a 47% share in monthly UPI volume

Walmart-backed digital payments platform PhonePe has acquired GigIndia, a B2B marketplace for on-demand work completion for freelance micro-entrepreneurs, for an undisclosed amount.

As a part of the acquisition, Pune-based GigIndia, which has 1.5 Mn entrepreneurs, and more than 100 enterprises as customers, will integrate with PhonePe, the startup said in a statement today.

Through the acquisition, PhonePe will leverage GigIndia’s network of freelance micro-entrepreneurs to help corporates and enterprises acquire more customers and scale up their distribution channels. 

“This acquisition will also strengthen PhonePe’s offerings and value proposition to its enterprise partners and result in the creation of millions of opportunities for individual freelance micro-entrepreneurs in India,” PhonePe said.

Speaking on the acquisition, Vivek Lohcheb, head of offline business, PhonePe said, “GigIndia has already served many businesses, with its pool of high-quality, skilled freelance micro-entrepreneurs.”

“GigIndia has been playing a pivotal role in transforming the way businesses are collaborating with an intent of empowering freelance micro-entrepreneurs with readily available opportunities,” said Aditya Shirole, COO, GigIndia.

Founded in 2017 by Sahil Sharma and Aditya Shirole, GigIndia’s customer base includes companies such as Amazon, Paytm, Tata Group, Reliance Industries, Swiggy, PayU, among others. 

To mitigate the financial burden imposed by the Covid-19 and reassure its workforce during the pandemic, GigIndia announced last year that it would provide free Covid health insurance to its active gig workers covering up to INR 3 Lakh of medical expenses. The move highlights the need for social security benefits and paid leave or access to health insurance among gig workers.

The startup’s list of investors and advisors include former TCS CEO S Ramadorai; Beyond Next Ventures CEO and founding partner Tsuyoshi Ito; Incubate Fund India founder Nao Murakami; and former Tech Mahindra CEO Kiran Deshpande.

On the other hand, PhonePe was founded by former Flipkart executives Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer. The PhonePe app, based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), went live in August 2016. It is owned by Flipkart, a subsidiary of Walmart. The PhonePe app is available in 11 Indian languages.

PhonePe’s Last Year Performance And Ranking 

In 2021, PhonePe led the industry on all key metrics including value and value of transactions, registered users as well as merchant coverage. 

The startup has been the market leader in UPI with more than 46% market share in the value of transactions processed last year, having crossed the 350 Mn registered user mark, clocking a 28% average month-on-month growth from January to December 2021.

Meanwhile, PhonePe led the UPI numbers with INR 3.94 Lakh Cr transactions last year. Google Pay maintained its second lead with INR 3.03 Lakh Cr transactions. Next in line was Paytm (with transactions worth INR 88,094 Cr); Amazon Pay (with transactions worth INR 6,641 Cr) and WhatsApp Pay (with transactions worth INR 188 Cr). The apps respectively recorded their highest ever transaction values in December 2021.