Prosus 2023 report card: ZestMoney write-off, Byju’s haircut, and more


Prosus (formerly Naspers), one of the prominent technology investors, has released its 2023 annual report. Fintrackr sifted through the report to uncover insights about its portfolio companies, including Byju’s, Swiggy, ZestMoney, Mensa, and PayU.

While it slashed the valuation of Byju’s, Prosus ramped up Mensa’s value and wrote off its investment in ZestMoney. 

More details below.


Prosus has invested $536 million in Byju’s since 2018. According to the report, released on Tuesday, it has revalued the investment to $493 million, marking an 8% decline. This also took Byju’s valuation to $5.13 billion. As of March 2023, Prosus held a 9.6% stake in the company.

Moreover, this is the second time when Prosus has slashed Byju’s valuation. In November 2022, Prosus marked down the valuation by 76.7% to $5.97 billion from $22 billion in October 2022. Besides Prosus, Byju’s early backer Blackrock also marked down its investment in the company.

Prosus further says in its report that it has “lost significant influence in Byju’s” and stopped equity accounting for the edtech firm from September 2022.


The venture capital firm further states that during CY22 (Jan-Dec 2022) Swiggy’s food delivery business GMV (gross merchandise value) grew 26% year-on-year, while the GMV of its quick-commerce business ‘Instamart’ reported a 459% annual growth.

Swiggy’s total revenue for the period saw a significant 40% jump to $900 million in CY2022 from around $640 million in the previous year.

Prosus holds a 32.83% stake in Swiggy and recorded a financial loss of $180 million for its share. 

Rough calculations indicate that Swiggy incurred losses amounting to approximately $545.5 million during the January-December 2022 period. The VC firm further states that the aforesaid losses were driven by the hefty investments in Swiggy’s quick-commerce business Instamart in the preceding fiscal year.

The foodtech company’s total losses surged to $545.5 million in CY22 from $303 million in CY21.

Last month, Swiggy’s CEO Harsha Majety claimed that the firm’s food delivery business turned profitable as of March (2023). However, looking at the company’s 2022 results, the profitability seems far away. Moreover, the company is yet to file its FY23 results.

Prosus holds a significant 31% stake (on a fully-diluted basis) in Swiggy after an additional investment of $274 million and $25 million in April 2021 and February 2022.


Prosus held a sizable 19.4% stake in ZestMoney but it has written off its $38 million worth investment in the Mumbai-based firm (Primrose Hill) as of March 2023. 

While the investor hasn’t cited exact reasons for the write-off, analysts indicate that fallout of deal with PhonePe and the company’s inability to raise follow-on funds steered Prosus’ move. Meanwhile, all three c0-founders of the BNPL startups also left the company.

Mensa Brands

Prosus invested $25 million in Mensa Brands during its Series B round in 2021 which helped the roll-up startup to turn unicorn within six months of operations. 

As per Fintrackr’s analysis, Prosus holds a 2.5% stake in Mensa brands. The report put Mensa in a positive light as Prosus marked up its investment by 8% to $27 million.


PayU is an online payment and service platform which processed more than $78 billion in payment volume globally. Unsurprisingly, Payu’s India TPV (total payment volume) grew 33% to $58 billion driven by the transaction growth which increased by 25% to 1.4 billion.

In the last fiscal year (FY23), PayU India achieved a revenue of $399 million, marking a 31% growth compared to the previous fiscal year. This growth was fueled by the continued expansion of enterprise and small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the company’s strategic diversification into new segments, including government merchants, omnichannel services, and other non-MDR (merchant discount rate) products.

As a result of the revenue growth and effective cost-saving measures, PayU witnessed a notable improvement in the trading profit margin, with a 78 basis point increase to reach 3% during the period.

Further, PayU’s credit business in India experienced significant scaling, with loans issued amounting to $742 million, reflecting a substantial 47% growth. This growth contributed to the development of a loan book totaling $256 million as of 31 March 2023.

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