PhonePe Muscles Up Its Wealth Management Game

Photo by Tech Daily on Unsplash

Walking the aisle towards Walmart-owned PhonePe are two wealth management (WM) companies – WealthDesk and OpenQ. 

The Indian payments company has acquired the two wealth management firms for a total enterprise value of $75 million.

The Split-up: WealthDesk will have a price label of $50 million EV, and OpenQ stands at $25 million, including debt. Other financial details were not disclosed.

Game Plan

Founded in 2016, WealthDesk is headquartered in Mumbai and works towards helping customers to invest in stocks and exchange-traded funds. 

The entire team of WealthDesk will be working as a part of the PhonePe team, though both platforms will remain independent. WealthDesk will continue to operate as an open platform, with founder Ujjwal Jain leading the company.

As for Bengaluru-headquartered OpenQ, the company’s offerings like trading baskets and investment analytics services will be instrumental in creating the wealth ecosystem for the PhonePe group. 

Beefing Up 

Founded in 2015 and led by Sameer Nigam, PhonePe became part of Walmart after the retailer’s acquisition of Flipkart Group in 2018. Flipkart owns about 87% stake in PhonePe, while its parent Walmart owns about 10%. 

The acquisitions will help PhonePe, and in turn, Walmart-backed Flipkart to widen its offerings. 

Locking Horns 

The payments market is getting plumper where tech giants like Google, Amazon.com Inc., and Paytm compete. The acquisition by Walmart brings the retail giant head-to-head with Amazon in India’s rapidly-expanding money management segment. 

Amazon made its first investment of $40 Mn in India’s wealth management firm Smallcase Technologies last year.

Too long? Here’s a one-liner: PhonePe to acquire two Wealth Management firms, WealthDesk and OpenQ, for $75 Mn; Walmart to take on Amazon in India’s money management segment.

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