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PhonePe Acquires Wealth Tech Platforms WealthDesk and OpenQ For $70-Mn

Digital payments and financial services platform PhonePe said on May 18 that it would acquire wealth tech platforms WealthDesk and OpenQ as it continues to expand its financial services space beyond payments.

“PhonePe is acquiring WealthDesk (Wealth Technologies & Services Private Limited). The founders and the entire team will work as part of the PhonePe Group, and the two platforms will remain separate,” the company said in a statement.

“PhonePe also acquired OpenQ (Quantech Capital Investment Advisors Private Limited), subject to necessary regulatory approvals. OpenQ is a smart beta wealth management platform for designing investment strategies and optimizing portfolio construction advice. Upon completion of the acquisition, OpenQ will Contribute to creating the PhonePe Group wealth ecosystem,” the statement added.

While PhonePe accounts for the majority of 47% of monthly UPI transactions, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Sameer Nigam, said the company wants to become a financial services group. Both UPI and RuPay debit cards have a zero MDR policy, which states that merchants will not be charged fees for accepting payments through this model. The MDR or merchant discount rate is the primary source of revenue for the payment ecosystem.

Since UPI has no revenue, it serves as a customer acquisition channel for PhonePe for other financial services products, including mutual funds, insurance and gold investments. PhonePe added that WealthDesk will continue to maintain an open platform for all participants, and founder Ujjwal Jain will continue to lead the company.

The company is a business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) investment technology platform for stakeholders in the asset, advisory, brokerage and wealth management ecosystem. “WealthDesk’s vision is to create an internet-scale investment technology ecosystem by building a United Wealth Interface (UWI) for the asset and wealth management ecosystem on top of Indian brokerage/exchange platforms.WealthDesk’s platform offering will allow all stakeholders to integrate to drive investment product innovation,” PhonePe said.

WealthDesk has more than 50 partners in different categories. PhonePe expects the platform to expand further through integration with more partners. PhonePe’s long-pending acquisition of IndusOS closed in April after PhonePe reached an out-of-court settlement with IndusOS shareholders Affle and Ventureast Fund.

PhonePe also acquired Pune-based GigIndia, a network for freelance micro-entrepreneurs, in March. PhonePe will integrate 1.5 million entrepreneurs, more than 100 corporate customers, and company employees through this acquisition.

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