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Walmart puts $200M in India's PhonePe

by Serenah McKay | March 18, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
This undated file photo shows Walmart's sign in front of its Bentonville headquarters.

Walmart Inc. has invested $200 million in PhonePe, an Indian digital payments company, as the startup aims to raise $1 billion in primary capital.

Walmart remains a majority shareholder in both PhonePe and online marketplace partner Flipkart, which split into separate companies in December.

PhonePe said in a news release Friday that it recently raised a total of $450 million in capital from General Atlantic, Tiger Global, TVS Capital Funds and Ribbit Capital. The company said it plans to use the funds to branch out into new businesses such as insurance, wealth management and lending.

Walmart has a relationship with Ribbit going back to January 2021, when it said the companies were working together to create "next-generation digital financial products" for Walmart employees and customers.

Judith McKenna, president and chief executive of Walmart International, said India "is one of the world's most digital, dynamic and fastest-growing economies."

The Bentonville-based retailer is confident in how PhonePe "continues to expand its offerings and provide access to financial services for Indians at scale," she said.

Walmart paid $16 billion for a 77% stake in Flipkart in 2018 to create a digital marketplace that complied with India's stricter regulations on foreign businesses. It competes with Amazon and Indian firm Reliance Industries for an e-commerce market expected to be worth $200 billion by 2027.


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