Axis Bank, India’s third largest private bank, has acquired Snapdeal-owned payment platform, Freecharge for about $60 million. The Axis Bank Board of Directors has given green signal for the acquisition and it’s now subject to regulatory approvals from the RBI and others.
Freecharge and Axis Bank have been engaged for the deal for about more than a month. Gurugram-based company had been on the block from early this year since the talk of Snapdeal emerged strongly.
The payment company was acquired by Jasper Infotech (parent company of Snapdeal and Freecharge) in 2015 in a cash-and-stock deal estimated at $400-450 million (Rs 2,400 to 2,800 crore), in what was then the largest acquisition in the Indian startup space.
Freecharge’s co-founder Kunal Shah has also confirmed acquisition through a Facebook post.
Over the past one month several suitors including Times Internet, Bank of Baroda and Paytm queued up to bid for Freecharge. Most recently, Amazon reportedly offered a term sheet to buy the digital payment platform for around $70-80 million.
With this acquisition, Axis will have access to about 20 million mobile wallet holders of Freecharge as well around a million offline and online merchants.