Payments company PhonePe on Monday said it has bought the point-of-sale (PoS) business of Zopper, a hyperlocal mobile marketplace for small and medium-sized businesses. The acquisition, which is part of a broader strategy to ramp up its offline business, comes months after PhonePe launched its own point-of-sale device for small merchants.
As part of the deal, Zopper founder and chief executive officer Neeraj Jain will join PhonePe, heading its offline merchants business. Zopper Retail, which is the PoS arm of Zopper, currently counts several million small and medium-sized businesses as customers on its platform.
“Zopper has a very strong technology and innovation DNA, and Neeraj and team are also a great culture fit for PhonePe. Zopper Retail is specifically designed to meet the needs of millions of small retailers in India, and their strategy ties in very well with our overall vision of making digital payments universally accepted across the country,” said Sameer Nigam, co-founder and CEO, PhonePe Internet Pvt. Ltd, now owned by Flipkart.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Zopper, which was founded by Surjendu Kuila and Jain, counts the likes of Tiger Global Management, Nirvana Ventures Advisors and Blume Ventures as investors.
Over the past 6-12 months, PhonePe has been aggressively expanding its offline merchant network, as part of a broader goal of establishing itself as the pre-eminent digital payments brand across the country.
In November last year, PhonePe launched its own PoS device based on Bluetooth technology for kirana stores, petrol pumps, food chains and other merchants to accept digital payments.
In January, PhonePe said it would offer a range of services, including bus ticket bookings and food ordering, through tie-ups with service providers, starting with ticketing platform RedBus.
While tens of millions of shoppers use digital payments to buy things online, very few physical stores offer convenient options to customers to pay digitally. PoS devices help bridge the gap between shoppers and physical stores.
PhonePe, which operates on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, currently competes with bigger rival Paytm, the Bhim app, which is owned by the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI), and others in India’s booming digital payments business.