For each rupee of revenue, PhonePe lost Rs 16.14 in FY18

30th Oct 2018
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On an operating revenue of Rs 42.7 crore, PhonePe incurred a loss of Rs 791 crore.

Flipkart-owned digital payments platform PhonePe incurred a loss of Rs 791 crore for the financial year 2018, compared to a loss of Rs 129 crore in the fiscal 2017, documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) revealed.

The digital payment arm of Walmart-owned Flipkart posted a total revenue of Rs 49 crore, a steep increase from the revenue of Rs 3.03 crore it generated in the financial year 2016-17.

Founders of PhonePe (L to R): Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari

The reason for the steep loss is the increase in operating and administrative expenses that grew 5.6X to Rs 832 crore in the fiscal 2018, compared to Rs 146 crore in the fiscal 2017.

The development comes on the back of One 97 Communications Ltd, which houses the main payments business, reporting an over four-fold increase in its consolidated revenue in FY18 to Rs 3,314.8 crore while incurring a loss of Rs 1,490 crore, compared to Rs 879 crore of loss in fiscal 2017.

The growing loss incurred by these digital payment firms only shows that the market that got a boost after demonetisation, is still a tough market for the likes of Paytm, Phonepe, Google Pay, and others.

The documents filed with RoC stated, “During the Financial Year 2017-18 the company was engaged in the business of operation of payment system for semi-closed prepaid instruments services in India and providing Unified Payment Interface application (UPI) under the brand name Phonepe, in association with Yes Bank Limited.”

The statement added, during the fiscal year 2018, “the company has scaled up its operations significantly by onboarding more merchants and forming strategic partnerships, which have led to a surge in the company’s customer base and the number of transactions per customer. Consequently, the revenue from operations of the company has grown phenomenally by around 14 times its revenue for the previous year.”

It further added, “The company is also actively exploring other business avenues in the payments and ecommerce space.”

PhonePe, formerly FX Mart, was acquired by Flipkart in 2016. It had secured a funding of Rs 254 crore in October 2017 from Singapore-based group entity Flipkart Payment after having raised Rs 83 crore from the same group entity in October 2016.

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