WhatsApp India reports first profitable year

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp India posted a net profit of Rs 57.18 lakh for the financial year ending March 31, 2019.

WhatsApp India posted a net profit or Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs 57.18 lakh for the financial year ending March 31, 2019, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), accessed by YourStory.

This is the instant messaging giant's first profitable year in India. It reported a turnover of Rs 6.84 crore. The Facebook-owned messaging service has 400 million users in the country.

WhatsApp attributes IT-enabled business process and outsourcing services as its sources of revenue.

The company's expenses for FY19 stood at Rs 6 crore, which included employee benefits of Rs 3.43 crore. In comparison, WhatsApp India had posted a loss of Rs 5 lakh and nil revenue in FY18.

The company launched 'WhatsApp Business' in January 2018 in select markets including India, with the aim of connecting tens of millions of small enterprises with their potential customers at a minimal cost.

Media reports say that about a million businesses in India use the WhatsApp Business app to communicate with their customers.

The company is also looking to officially launch its payment services in India. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has told the Supreme Court that the messaging platform is non-compliant with data localisation norms.

WhatsApp Payments, which is based on UPI, has been in its beta stage for about a year. In 2017, the company started testing the payments service in India through an invite-only model. Since then, WhatsApp Pay has been limited to around one million users – without approval of the government.

The apex bank (RBI) has directed the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to not allow a full-scale launch of the payments service in India by the Facebook-owned company.

NPCI manages Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which clocked over a billion transactions last month. PhonePe and Google Pay are said to be the leading players in UPI followed by Paytm and Amazon Pay

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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