US-based software services firm Ebix Inc., the parent company of Mumbai-based digital payments company ItzCash, has acquired Paul Merchants Ltd’s International remittance business for Rs 262.77 crore.
As part of the latest transaction, Paul Merchants will also take a 10 per cent stake in Ebix’s combined international remittance business entity in India for cash consideration.
Besides Wall Street Finance and YouFirst Money Express, this is the third acquisition within a month in the Indian remittance space for the Nasdaq-listed software firm.
All three acquired by Ebix were licensed agents of Western Union and would be consolidated under the YouFirst Money Express brand, which was acquired by the software firm in August 2017.
BSE-listed Paul Merchants offers international money transfer and foreign exchange services. The company’s inward remittance exchange comprises over 20,000 distribution outlets and 165 branches. The firm processes about 6 million transactions every year.
It also controls 35% of Western Union’s inward remittance flows into India. Paul Merchants operates as an agent of Western Union and is the largest international remittance firm in India.
“The addition of this international capability significantly expands upon Ebix’s overall participation in India’s remittance channels, and will allow Ebix’s financial exchange to remit money sent from abroad through Western Union, Ria, Moneygram or Express Money,” said Robin Raina, chairman, president, and chief executive officer at Ebix.
Ebix made its foray into the Indian payments space through the acquisition of ItzCash in May 2017. The firm, which has now emerged as the leading player in the remittance space through this series of acquisitions, took an 80% stake in ItzCash for $123 million.
It also gave exits to early investors Matrix, Intel Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Essel Group owns the remaining 20 per cent stake in the company.
ItzCash was already the largest domestic remittance exchange in India with a volume of around $100 million per month.
These deals give Ebix a strong foothold in the foreign remittance space as well.