Exclusive: Amazon in talks to acquire Sequoia-backed app aggregator Tapzo

Tapzo

Super app (aka app aggregator) Tapzo has been in advanced talks with Amazon for acquisition. According to three sources, both companies have been in talks for over four months, however, consensus over the deal seems to have culminated recently.

“Both companies have given the green signal for the deal. If nothing goes wrong from here then it could be announced by the next month,” reveal two of the above three sources. Sequoia Capital-backed Tapzo began talks with Amazon in April this year.

However, the initial discussion didn’t take off owing to the valuation offered by Amazon to Tapzo. “The fresh discussion resumed in July. Unlike last time, Tapzo agreed on the updated structure of the deal,” add sources. Sources requested anonymity as the discussion is private and they aren’t authorised to speak to media.

Entrackr has sent an email to Amazon and left WhatsApp text to Tapzo’s founder and CEO Ankur Singla for confirmation. We will update the post as responses come in.

For uninitiated, Tapzo is a super app which allows users to access more than 35 apps, such as Flipkart, Amazon, Ola, Uber, and others. Users can recharge mobile, DTH and data card, make bill payments, order cabs and food, book flight and bus tickets amongst many others.

“Tapzo is likely to join Amazon Pay team in Malleshwaram West, Bengaluru,” assert one of the above-quoted sources. While it’s not clear what values Tapzo would bring for the payment unit of the Jeff Bezos-led behemoth, Amazon Pay has been unable to launch UPI feature because of Reserve Bank of India’s diktat over data storage.

It’s worth noting that Tapzo has started a new business line where it’s offering software solution (a sort of technology layer) to plug recharge and other utility services on traditional bank’s existing platform. Besides India, it’s also pitching the new product to banks in the Middle East, outine the sources.

Since its inception in 2010, the company has pivoted thrice and also went through the equal number of rebrandings. In its maiden avatar, it was called Akosha and used to be an online customer feedback platform. Five years later, it pivoted as well as rebranded to become Help Chat, a chat-based personal assistant.

At the end of 2016, Helpchat underwent yet another pivot to turn app aggregator and subsequently renamed – Tapzo.

So far, Tapzo had raised over $33.5 million risk capital across five rounds from the likes of Sequoia Capital, RB Investment, and American Express amongst others.

After raising $16 million Series B round in May 2015, the Delhi-based company had failed to entice investor for decent follow-on rounds. For instance, it raised a $10.5 million Series C round along with a small $1.93 million bridge round in January this year.

While we didn’t ascertain the financial details involved in the deal, it certainly would be a fire sale as Tapzo has nothing substantial to splurge upon. In fact, the company has been struggling and off the media radar for quite some time. In case, the deal goes through (even with nothing for investors) – it would be a eventful outcome for the company.

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