Amazon India is reportedly set to acquire ‘all-in-one’ app Tapzo for an undisclosed amount. Sources close to the development told YourStory that talks are at an advanced stage, and a deal would be announced soon.
Earlier today, The Economic Times had reported the deal size to be between $40 and $45 million. The report also said that Tapzo’s co-founders Vishal Pal and Ankur Singla are expected to get cash along with some shares in Amazon.
YourStory had earlier spoken to a few sources involved in the discussions when the news had first surfaced. One of them had said, “Tapzo would be an interesting buy for Amazon since it provides the convenience of having shopping, payments, food delivery, movie tickets, bus and flight bookings, and even cab rides at one place.”
The source had added that almost all consumer tech giants in India had opted for a similar strategy, and successfully expanded their services portfolio through acquisitions. “It was only a matter of time before Amazon went down this road," he added.
According to another individual involved in the negotiations, “With the Tapzo acquisition, Amazon would cut down its time to market by nearly 18 months and get a team that has in-depth experience of API-driven commerce.”
Over the last few months, however, Amazon India has partnered with several online merchants to launch movie and travel ticketing, mobile recharges, bill payments, DTH payments - services that Tapzo offers.
Speaking to YourStory in March, Amazon Pay had said it had partnered with close to 60 merchants, which included brands like redBus, BookMyShow, Freshmenu and Yatra, that were using Amazon Pay as a payment gateway.
Just today, Amazon India announced the launch of its bill payments facility, which allows users to pay electricity, landline, broadband, gas and postpaid bills across more than 100 billers. Customers can access these categories through the Amazon Pay dashboard, and Amazon homepage on the mobile app or website.
Strategically speaking, Tapzo’s five million users could be an advanatage for Amazon Pay to cross-sell its products, as well as improve customer experience, thereby adding value to the partnership.
Responding to YourStory's query, an Amazon spokesperson said,
"Our commitment to the vision of a less-cash India remains the same. Our goal is to make it easier than ever before for customers to make digital payments by improving the customer experience, affordability and daily routines”
In 2016, Amazon acquired payment gateway startup Emvantage for an undisclosed amount to develop its Indian ecommerce site’s payment platform.
Tapzo was earlier called Helpchat, and prior to that Akosha. It was founded in 2010 by Ankur Singla, Vishal Pal Chaudhary, Vishrut Chalsani, and Avinash Vankadaru.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup had raised Rs 100 crore in Series B funding from Sequoia India and Ru-Net in May 2015, followed by an undisclosed Series C round in late 2016 led by American Express Ventures.
Tapzo has integrated with more than 35 apps and allows users to transact across categories like cabs, food, bill payments, deals, and recharge. The app also includes content like cricket updates, news, and horoscopes.
It has five million installs on Google’s Play Store and is the highest rated transactions app in India. It also has over 200,000 ratings with an average of 4.5 stars. The app also has a Hindi version to increase its reach.