In no hurry to launch IPO, will go public when it makes sense, says PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam
PhonePe is in no hurry to launch its IPO and will go public "when it makes sense" for the company, even as a number of Indian internet companies, including rival Paytm, line up to mark their debut on Dalal Street in the coming months. The company has just "scratched the surface" when it comes to financial services and is excited about the prospects in multiple verticals like insurance, PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam told reporters here on Thursday.
"We have never been in a hurry to get to an IPO. I think this company is in a sector, we are already regulated heavily, and we are getting deeper into financial services. So I think it's a foregone conclusion that the right answer for PhonePe some day is to become a public listed company...I'm not committing to an IPO date," he said.
He added that the company will think about the IPO "when it makes sense and there's a reason for it".
"Markets are cyclical, but I think good solid companies will always find a willing market...Do I have any FOMO (fear of missing out) to go IPO, for any reason other than the governance part of it, zero. I will keep saying that every time people ask me, I don't care when a competitor goes public, I wish everyone the best of luck," he added.
Zomato had made a stellar debut on the Dalal Street in July with its shares zooming nearly 53% against the issue price of ₹76, and its market valuation crossing the ₹1-lakh-crore mark. Recently, CarTrade also made its debut on the stock market.
A number of internet-led businesses are gearing up to launch their IPOs, including Nykaa, Paytm, PolicyBazaar and Droom. Nigam said the five-year old company, which has more than 300 million users, said PhonePe had seen significant growth in its mutual funds and insurance offerings.
"We will be entering and building B2B account aggregator services for the market soon. We are going to enter multiple other verticals. I think that is evolution, that's business model expansion when you start with payments, these are natural adjacencies," he added.
PhonePe has also launched PhonePe Pulse - an interactive website with data, insights and trends on digital payments in the country. The website showcases more than 2,000 crore transactions by consumers on an interactive map of India. It has also launched the Pulse Report that reflects the evolution of digital payments over the past 5 years.
The insights on the website and in the report have been drawn from two key sources - PhonePe's transaction data combined with merchant and customer interviews.
"This innovative new product is relevant to multiple ecosystem stakeholders including the government, policy makers, regulatory bodies, media, industry analysts, merchant partners, startups, academic institutions and students. The rich data set along with insightful trends and stories can be used by these partners to understand consumer and merchant behavior and identify new opportunities for growth," Nigam said.
Nigam said when PhonePe started five years back, it struggled to get reliable granular data on digital payments trends across the country.
"We had promised ourselves that if we are successful and gather enough data on our platform, we would open it for anyone who wants to get deeper insights on the
Indian payments industry. We built PhonePe Pulse because we can, and crucially because we should help unlock opportunities for others to build in India,” he said.
PhonePe Pulse is an extension of the company's open platform approach to the information it has garnered at scale with the view of democratising the access to this data for the benefit of other stakeholders in the ecosystem, PhonePe co-founder and CTO Rahul Chari said.
"The end product today is only the start and we hope others take the same approach to data sharing and transparency,” he added.
Chari said it will shortly put out a bunch of developer APIs that they can use to use data to power some of their decisions on products. Application Programme Interface or API is a set of functions and procedures for building software.
"We put privacy as at the top most as the top was concerned while building and designing paths. We've made sure that no consumer details are available. And yet, all of the trends are available to anyone who wants to see them," Nigam added.
According to the website, 394.13 crore PhonePe transactions (across UPI, cards and wallets) were clocked in the June quarter, with total payment value at ₹7.47 lakh crore. The average transaction value during the second quarter was ₹1,897.
Of the total transactions, 174.42 crore transactions were peer-to-peer payments, 149.96 crore were merchant payments, 68.5 crore were related to recharges and bill payments and 33.97 lakh were related to financial services in the June 2021 quarter.