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PayU acquires BillDesk for $4.7 billion

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NEW DELHI: In one of the biggest deals in the Indian consumer internet space, global player Prosus NV on Tuesday said its fintech business PayU will buy digital payments provider BillDesk for USD 4.7 billion (about Rs 34,376.2 crore).

With the deal, the Netherlands-incorporated Prosus NV”s investment in India will jump to more than USD 10 billion.

The PayU-BillDesk transaction, which is subject to approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), is expected to close by early 2022, Prosus Group CEO Bob van Dijk told reporters during a briefing.

“The combination will create a leading digital payments company in India and globally, and it is exceptionally well-positioned to expand deeper into the Indian fintech ecosystem as more and more Indian customers move from cash to digital transactions,” he added.

Dijk noted that Prosus has been a long term investor in India and has invested close to USD 6 billion in India in tech companies since 2005. With the latest transaction, its investment in India will be more than USD 10 billion.

“That underlines our commitment to our presence in India, our future in India and scaling in India… The country has been the core focus of our investment over the past decade, and I believe it will be a very significant driver of our growth over the next decade as well,” he said.

Prosus has invested in companies like Byju”s, Meesho, Swiggy, Urban Company and others in India.

The latest transaction builds on previous acquisitions by PayU in India, including CitrusPay, Paysense and Wibmo.

It will help PayU — the payments and fintech business of Prosus that operates in more than 20 high-growth markets — become one of the leading online payment providers globally, handling Total Payment Volume (TPV) of USD 147 billion.

BillDesk was founded in 2000 and is backed by investors like General Atlantic, Visa, TA Associates, Clearstone Venture and Temasek. It has about 600 employees.

Dijk said along with classifieds, food delivery, and education technology, payments and fintech is a core segment for Prosus.

He noted that over the next few years, more than 200 million new users are expected to adopt digital payments and the average the number of annual transactions per person is expected to rise ten-fold in the next three years from 22 to 220 — which presents a massive growth opportunity.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant termed the transaction as a “big move”.

“Deal brings Prosus”s cumulative investment in Indian tech to more than US$10bn. Acquisition will see PayU, become the leading online payment providers globally, handling a payment volume of US$147 billion,” he tweeted.

For the financial year ended March 2021, PayU reported a strong performance, increasing TPV by 51 per cent year-on-year to USD 55 billion across India, Latin America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

PayU offers credit solutions for consumers and small businesses, and has strategic investments in fintech companies.

“By bringing together these two complementary businesses, we expect to create a fintech ecosystem handling 4 billion transactions annually,” Anirban Mukherjee, CEO of PayU India, said.

He said the combination will help grow India”s digital payments industry, propel the Digital India vision, and allow PayU to service the key audiences of consumers, merchants and banks and utilise that scale — both in India and internationally and innovate further.

BillDesk”s network is used by some of the biggest banks in the country and a large number of merchants across utilities, telecom, insurance and other verticals.

“The combination will allow us to gain scale, build market leadership across all payments verticals and establish a strong presence in the payment value chain, serving merchants across all segments,” he added.

Asked if BillDesk will operate as a separate entity, Mukherjee said the transaction is expected to close in a few months and “even post close, we will take our time to figure out how to bring the platforms together”.

“… Anything we do, will be in consultation with the RBI because these are platforms that both serve millions of merchants, so we need to be very thoughtful about it, that”s what we intend to do. Having said that, we are also committed to cross-pollinating and using each other”s solutions on our client bases such that we can offer best of the breed solutions to all merchants,” he added.

M N Srinivasu, Co-Founder of BillDesk, said the company has been a pioneer in driving digital payments in India for well over a decade.

“This investment by Prosus validates the significant opportunity in India for digital payments that is being propelled by innovation and the progressive regulatory framework put into place by the Reserve Bank of India,” Srinivasu said.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Vi showcases 5G

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), leading telecom operator, today demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “With our 5G trials underway, Vi is preparing to take India on the next journey of fifth generation wireless mobile communication technology. Our 5G trials showcase a whole new world of possibilities across various domains that promise a new era of technology advancement in India. I am confident that 5G will bring a better tomorrow that will deliver significant benefits to consumers, businesses and society, driving digital economy growth in India.”

With the purpose for a better tomorrow, Vi has been conducting 5G trials and developed a wide range of use cases relevant for Enterprises and Consumers in India. Vi has partnered with industry leaders like L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet, Indian start-ups like Vizzbee & Tweek Labs, and technology leaders – Ericsson and Nokia for trialling use cases in the two locations.

Committed to helping its customers thrive and have a better tomorrow, Vi is leveraging the power of 5G technology across segments such as industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture, gaming, amongst others. Vi’s trials have proven that high data speed, low latency and reliability of 5G technology, can bring about massive developments by enhancing business performance, revolutionizing customer experience, changing consumer lifestyle and positively impacting people dwelling in remote corners of India.

Vi has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT, for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands.

The 5G trial network set up by Vi in Pune, deploys Ericsson Radios and Ericsson Dual Mode Core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune have been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions.

In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. Vi use cases in Gandhinagar were demonstrated via a live telecast at the special media preview held in Pune.

 

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LTI, IBM inaugurate innovation and experience center in Bengaluru

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NEW DELHI: Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has opened an Innovation & Experience Centre at LTI Whitefield campus in Bengaluru (India) focusing on IBM technologies. The Center will assist enterprises in modernizing their operations and accelerating digital transformation journeys.

This Innovation and Experience Center will showcase LTI solutions that have been co-created using IBM technologies such as IBM Cloud and Cloud Paks. The Centre will also serve as a forum for customers to engage with LTI and IBM technical resources for in-depth technology briefings, solution demos, software, tool access and solution workshops.

Sudhir Chaturvedi, President-Sales and Executive Board Member, LTI, said: “The rapid technological advances make it necessary for customers to experience solutions before adopting them. Our new center in Bengaluru fulfils this need for the joint customers of IBM and LTI. This center will offer combined benefits of LTI’s rich domain proficiency and IBM’s deep technical expertise, and thereby assist clients in their transformation journey.”

Through this center, IBM and LTI will collaborate and invest in creating joint solutions and develop industry viewpoints around digital transformation, hybrid cloud, data & AI, and security services. In addition, both LTI and IBM teams, will work with customers to address their requirements around driving digital transformation and managing multiple clouds.

Evaristus Mainsah, GM, Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem, IBM, said, “This center is an outcome of our growing alliance with LTI to help clients predict, automate, secure, and modernize their business operations. We are confident our clients will benefit from the ease of access to industry-specific assets and customized joint solutions with IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach that will help to accelerate their transformation journeys.”

Distinct features of the center include an IBM Playground for associates to explore and experiment with prototypes, History Zone that highlights LTI-IBM alliance journey, joint customer success stories, Innovation Zone for brainstorming on innovative ideas and planning future offerings, and Discussion Zone with feedback mechanism to ensure continuous improvement.

LTI has strong capabilities in IBM’s Digital Business Automation portfolio. LTI’s Automation consultants are helping clients in driving productivity improvements with industry specific pre-built IBM frameworks. Earlier this year, LTI and IBM had announced expansion of their global alliance.

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Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature adds a new feature; helps procure an electronic stamp online

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NEW DELHI: Cygnature by Cygnet Infotech, the global Technology Products & Services company, has added an important feature called ‘e-stamp’ to its e-signing solution. Cygnature is an award-winning signing solution that securely authenticates signers, offers them a range of signature types for signing and protects the integrity of the documents.

With the e-stamp feature, businesses will be able to procure e-stamps through Cygnature platform and significantly ease the process of stamping documents.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst in pushing industries to move towards a paperless economy by offering a faster way of executing documents. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature supports organizations when it comes to digitally transforming their businesses. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature has added a useful feature ‘E-Stamp’ in its latest release providing multiple benefits. E-stamp can be generated within minutes using this feature. It can help you save time as physical stamp paper procurement is a time-consuming process. Users can prepay the stamp duty amount and then issue stamp papers against that balance.

With Cygnature, the solution can help digitize the process of paying the stamp duty and procuring e-stamp challan online rather than going to a stamp paper vendor to procure traditional stamp paper:

1. Initiate a workflow by uploading an agreement on Cygnature

2. Add E-stamp, select state and stamp duty amount to be paid for the relevant document category

3. Provide details of first and second party

4. On confirmation of details, the e-stamp challan will be generated and gets added instantly to the uploaded agreement

5. Both the parties can then continue to sign the document using Cygnature by adding placeholders to e-sign the document

6. The stamp duty amount will be deducted from the prepaid amount you deposit in your Cygnature account

7. The physical copies of the stamp paper will be couriered at the end of the month to the consumer’s address

Cygnature will not provide advice on the amount of stamp duty to be paid. This will have to be decided by the user.

Niraj Hutheesing, Founder & Managing Director at Cygnet Infotech said, “Cygnet Infotech’s product, Cygnature has been developed with an aim to promote seamless digital signing of documents. With the introduction of Cygnature’s E-stamp feature, we seek to further support businesses in speeding up the process of authorization of documents. Paying stamp duty is mandatory for many transactions across the country, and to simplify the process, e-stamp will help tackle counterfeiting and will further make the payment of stamp duty easier and glitch free.”

In this latest release, Cygnature’s E-stamp feature will be available for 5 states – Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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