Amidst the eye-catching discounts on offer during Flipkart’s recently concluded Big Billion Days sale, a curious development went largely unnoticed. PhonePe, the payments company acquired in 2016 by Flipkart, no longer occupied pride of place on the checkout page. Instead, it was just another in a long line of payment options. PhonePe also wasn’t offering the massive cashbacks that it did on previous Big Billion Day sales.
This was a marked change for both companies. Earlier, Walmart-owned Flipkart was PhonePe’s benefactor—both in terms of capital and as a source for users.
Sum of parts
How PhonePe went from cameo to starring role in Flipkart’s show
From $2 billion in 2018, Flipkart-owned PhonePe is worth ~$10 billion today. As it has grown, its reliance on Flipkart has shrunk. Once, 50% of its monthly transactions came through Flipkart. Today, this is less than 0.5%. But as PhonePe looks to fly the nest, it must figure out its business model
When Flipkart acquired PhonePe in 2016, PhonePe didn’t even have a product to show for it
Today, though, PhonePe is within striking distance of becoming a $10 billion business
As it has grown, Flipkart’s importance to it has shrunk. But while PhonePe is striking out on its own, it must now balance growth with revenues
PhonePe wants to do this by moving beyond payments and into financial services