Snapdeal just dropped one of its hanging payloads in the basket of Axis Bank. India’s seventh largest lender Axis Bank will acquire the popular mobile payments app FreeCharge. The deal is worth $60.04 million or roughly 3.85 billion Indian rupees. Note that Snapdeal bought Freecharge for a whopping $400 million back in 2015.

The deal comes as FreeCharge’s parent company Snapdeal is inching towards a buyout from rival Flipkart. As part of the deal, Axis Bank will pay 3.85 billion Indian rupees to Snapdeal for FreeCharge. The bank will also absorb around 200 of FreeCharge’s employees. Currently, FreeCharge has around 54 million customer base, which is only a marginal compared to market leader Paytm’s 225 million user base. A decision of either merging FreeCharge with Axis Bank’s existing mobile payment wallet or keeping them as separate business units is left to be seen. The acquisition is awaiting approval from Indian regulator RBI and expected to complete by September 2017.

Axis Bank acquires mobile payments app Freecharge

The acquisition of FreeCharge re-affirms Axis Bank’s determination to lead the journey of digitization of financial services,” said Shikha Sharma, MD & CEO of Axis Bank. “We expect FreeCharge to contribute significantly in our aspiration to serve the digital native and mobile-first young consumers of India” she added.

Axis Bank acquires FreeCharge

  • Axis Bank to acquire FreeCharge from Snapdeal for a 3.85 billion Indian rupees cash deal.
  • Around 200 employees from FreeCharge will now move to Axis bank.
  • Its first time in India, were a traditional bank is acquiring a fin-tech private startup.
  • Deal awaiting approval from RBI.

Earlier, Paytm has signed a non-exclusive term sheet to acquire Snapdeal owned Freecharge. The consolidation would have made Paytm India’s biggest and undisputed champion in the digital mobile wallet space. But now it seems FreeCharge has a different path to choose. Global retail giant Amazon and global online payment provider Paypal has also reported among the bidders to acquire FreeCharge.

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