Report: PayU Could Be Sold Off by Owner Prosus


Investment firm Prosus is reportedly considering a sale for its payments company PayU.

The company is working with Bank of America Corp. as it determines interest in PayU outside India, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday (May 9), citing unnamed sources.

The sources said a deal could be worth $800 million, and Prosus could sell off parts of PayU to different buyers while holding onto its business in India. PayU, which focuses on emerging markets, has operations in more than 50 countries around the world.

A spokesperson for Prosus told PYMNTS the company does not comment on merger and acquisition activity.

As the Bloomberg report notes, the proposed deal would be happening at a difficult time for FinTechs, which have been suffering through a venture capital (VC) drought.

The March failure of Silicon Valley Bank — a lender that provided funding and/or banking services to a host of venture-backed companies — rocked a sector that was already contending with a funding downturn.

“Just over a year ago, the startup funding landscape was basking in the glow of a sizzling 2021 and hoping to carry the momentum into the new year,” PYMNTS wrote in April. “However, at the beginning of 2023, funding for startups has considerably slowed down, almost to a crawl.”

VC funding plunged 65% year over year in the last three months of 2022, with the amount of new funds raised during the period reaching the lowest total for a fourth quarter since 2013.

PYMNTS’ Karen Webster sat down with PayU Global Payments CEO Mario Shiliashki last month for a wide-ranging interview on the last five years of payments innovation.

As that report said, in 2018 national real-time payment schemes like Brazil’s Pix and India’s UPI were still talking points, but now feature prominently in any discussion of cross-border payments and expansion into emerging markets.

“We thought, ‘OK, we need to integrate Pix. That’s fine, but let’s see. Will it really take off?’ It’s taken off and then some,” Shiliashki said.

“You see local merchants on the street and kiosk vendors accepting Pix. The new way to donate on the street is Pix. People may not have a place to sleep, but they have a Pix account. It’s pretty incredible. We’ve seen something similar in India with UPI, and Blik came out [in Poland] and created its own trend.”