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DMI Acquires ZestMoney, Plans to Grow Merchant Network Across India


DMI Group, a pan-India financial services platform, has acquired ZestMoney, a digital credit provider in India. 

The acquisition will allow DMI to incorporate the ZestMoney checkout financing platform into its product suite, broadening its engagement with current and potential customers, the company said in a Wednesday (Jan. 17) press release

“We have been partnered with ZestMoney for 8+ years in various capacities,” Shivashish Chatterjee, co-founder and joint managing director of DMI, said in the release. “We firmly believe that this acquisition will be an important step in our journey to provide digital financial inclusion at scale across India.” 

DMI has core businesses in digital finance, housing finance and asset management, according to the release. With over 40 offices across India, DMI has raised over $1.5 billion of investment capital and is supported by global institutional investors, strategic family offices and leading international banks. 

ZestMoney has a fully automated digital customer onboarding and servicing system, enabling customers to apply for and receive digital credit instantly at the point of sale, the release said. Established in 2015, it has more than 80,000 merchants across India. 

The acquisition grants DMI the exclusive right to use all Zest brands, and DMI Finance, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm of DMI, will become a preferred lender on the Zest platform, per the release. 

DMI will leverage its customer base, balance-sheet strength and risk-management experience to drive growth across ZestMoney’s extensive online and offline merchant network, the release said. 

“DMI has been an early supporter of ZestMoney and we are very excited to take our partnership to a whole new level,” Mandar Satpute, chief operating officer at ZestMoney, said in the release. 

It was reported on Dec. 5 that ZestMoney was planning to wind down its operations by the end of December after attempting unsuccessfully to find a buyer. 

Once valued at $445 million, the startup faced a setback in May when acquisition talks with FinTech giant PhonePe fell through, leading to the departure of its founders. 

Stricter capital rules in the financial services sector in India, designed to reduce risk tied to loans, are thinning the pool of FinTechs in the country.