(AF) India’s online payment and lending platform Mobikwik gained approval to launch an initial public offering that’s expected to raise about $253 million and value the company at up to $1.7 billion, said sources familiar with the matter.
The listing would make the company, backed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Sequoia Capital, India’s first listed online payments firm. The float is expected before the Diwali public holiday in India on November 4, said the sources. The flotation would make Mobikwik the first listed online payments company in India.
The company raised $20 million in June in from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a move that catapulted its valuation to about $700 million, a jump of nearly 50% in three months. The startup, which also counts Sequoia Capital (17.22% stake), Cisco Systems (2.08%), Net1 Applied Technologies Netherlands BV (10.79%), Tree Line Asia Master Fund (Singapore) Pte (4.43%), and American Express (1.81%) as backers, claims to have over 3.46 million merchants and serves more than 108 million users.
It plans to raise up to $253.3 mn (Rs.19 bn) via a fresh issue of $200 million in equity shares and an offer for sale for existing shareholders of up to $53.3 million, said the sources. The company is expected to be valued at $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion, said the sources.
While MobiKwik is not as large as technology unicorns including Byju’s ($18 billion), Paytm ($16 billion), or already listed Zomato ($14 billion), co-founder Upasana Taku says it is India’s largest buy now, pay later (BNPL) fintech company. After launching as a platform for daily life payments in 2009 and BNPL in 2019, the company is now focused on addressing the unmet credit needs of fast-growing, digitally-savvy Indians, she said.
Aside from payments, Mobikwik cross-sells other financial app-based products of non-banking finance companies including Bajaj Fin, Aditya Birla Cap and DMI, which gives the company access to another 120 million users.
Rival Paytm is reportedly planning to list in what could be India’s biggest IPO ever, raising about $3 billion at a $30 billion valuation.
By Indrajit Basu
This story was updated with exclusive details on the company’s expected valuation.