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May 18, 2022

Walmart-backed PhonePe to buy two wealth management firms in India

Walmart-backed Indian payment firm PhonePe is set to acquire two wealth management firms in a deal valued at $75m, Bloomberg has reported. 

PhonePe plans to buy WealthDesk for $50m and OpenQ for around $25m including debt, sources familiar with the matter told the publications. 

The proposed deal was confirmed by a PhonePe spokesperson without divulging any financial details about the deal. 

Founded in 2016, Mumbai-based WealthDesk enables customers to invest in stocks and exchange-traded funds. 

OpenQ on the other hand offers trading baskets and investment analytics services to both retail and institutional investors. 

“The founder of WealthDesk and the entire team will be working as a part of the PhonePe group and both the platforms will remain independent. Post-acquisition, OpenQ will be instrumental in creating the wealth ecosystem for the PhonePe group,” the payment firm said in a statement. 

The acquisition will allow PhonePe to expand its suite of offerings in the payments space where it faces competition from the likes of Google, Amazon and Paytm.

Walmart’s move comes after the US e-commerce giant Amazon forayed into the Indian wealth management space by investing in smallcase in August last year.

Founded in 2016, smallcase offers direct indexing and model portfolio platforms to users.

Walmart-backed e-commerce major Flipkart owns around 87% stake in PhonePe and the US retail giant directly owns a 10% stake in the payments firm.

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