bharatpe, mergers and acquisitions, pine labs, point of sale, razorpay, startups, unicorns

Razorpay Founders Shashank Kumar & Harshil Mathur

Business-to-business (B2B) digital payments and neobanking platform Razorpay has made an offline foray with the acquisition of Bengaluru-based point-of-sale (POS) machines provider Ezetap, as competition intensifies in the offline payments space.

Razorpay bought an 80 percent stake in Ezetap Solutions Pte Ltd, the Singapore-based parent entity of Ezetap Solutions Pvt Ltd, the company said in its regulatory filings with the city-state’s corporate affairs ministry.

The filing was sourced by Entrackr on August 16 and the news agency reported that the fintech major bought the stake for $100-$120 million, which will see it go up against Pine Labs, MSwipe, BharatPe and Infibeam Avenues, who dominate the offline payments space in the country.

Both Ezetap and Razorpay did not comment on queries sent by Moneycontrol.

As of June 2021, Ezetap was valued at a post-money valuation of $145 million, and so, for an 80 percent stake, Razorpay would likely have paid close to $120 million.

Ezetap caters to several large enterprises in India including BigBasket, Reliance, Indian Oil Corporation and Bharti Airtel.

The company, which has raised about $60 million to date, counts Helion Venture Partners, Social Capital and JS Capital as its backers.

Ezetap’s Singapore-based entity, which runs the India entity, reported revenue of $8.9 million for the year ended March 2020, according to data platform Tracxn.

The company reported a loss of $8.3 million for that year and hasn’t filed results for FY21 and FY22 (2021-22) yet.

The more the merrier

Razorpay’s acquisition of Ezetap is the company’s fifth in less than four years.

In February 2022, the fintech unicorn bought Malaysian fintech startup Curlec for an undisclosed amount.

The company was keen on expanding its product offerings by exploring acquisitions in various segments, Razorpay CEO and co-founder Harshil Mathur had then said in an interview.

Competition is heating up in both the offline PoS as well as payment gateway space.

Razorpay’s move from online to offline is opposite to that of players like Pine Labs and MSwipe. Pine Labs, whose core offering is the PoS machine for physical payments, entered the online space with the launch of its gateway Plural in November 2021.

Moneycontrol reported on August 9 that MSwipe was planning to get into the online payments space after receiving in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India  for the payment aggregator licence.

With Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions taking over as the preferred mode of payments in both physical and online transactions, PoS machines are now also offering swiping cards as well as displaying Quick Response (QR) codes for payments.

The space is also seeing growth as contactless payments from cards or near-field communication enabled devices pick up.

Fintech companies are expanding offerings by introducing sound devices that announce receipt of payments to merchants for QR code-based transactions.

MSwipe is the latest to join the space dominated by Paytm, BharatPe and PhonePe.

Soundbox devices also help fintech companies like Paytm and PhonePe in monetisation as they can sell it for an upfront cost and monthly rental subscriptions—UPI transactions do not yield direct revenue.

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