payu india: 150 employees lose their jobs as PayU lays off 6% of its workforce

PayU India, the payments and fintech business of Prosus, has laid off 150 people, or around 6% of its workforce, as the company realigns its teams locally, ET has learned.

Prosus, the investment arm of South African multinational Naspers, is one of the biggest backers of new-age Indian internet companies including Swiggy, Byju’s, Meesho, among others.

A person familiar with the matter said the layoffs are spread across different teams and mainly affected PayU India’s unit Wibmo, a digital payments security and mobile payments technology company it acquired in 2019 for $70 million.

PayU India’s fintech ventures include Wibmo, LazyPay and Citrus Pay.

“Keeping our highest strategic priorities in mind, we are realigning select business teams in India,” a PayU spokesperson said, confirming the development. “…we will have to separate ourselves from some of our colleagues. Nearly 150 employees, or less than 6% of our total workforce, will be affected by the organizational realignment. »

The spokesperson said that as the company focuses on building a comprehensive digital financial services ecosystem in India, it was important to ensure that PayU had “the right structure and resources in place and is agile enough to respond to rapidly evolving fintech. market and seize the opportunities it presents.

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The company had “no major workforce reduction plans,” the spokesperson added. In October, Prosus completed its $4.7 billion acquisition of online payment gateway company BillDesk by PayU Payments. The company’s decision to withdraw from the deal came barely a month after India’s antitrust regulator – Competition Commission of India (CCI) – approved the outlines of the deal which was first announced. in August 2021. The merger was expected to create an online payment gateway juggernaut that would process $147 billion in total annualized payment value (TPV), nearly double its closest competitor Razorpay, which processes $80 billion dollars in annual POS.

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of India ordered that prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) should not be loaded with lines of credit. This had caused PayU India’s lending arm, LazyPay, to change its business model around its card offering, LazyCard. In July, ET reported that LazyPay had to suspend its LazyPlus UPI (Buy Now Pay Later) payment product, amid growing regulatory scrutiny of credit card fintech companies.

For the 2021-22 financial year, PayU Payments recorded a more than 50% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenue to Rs 2,130.2 crore. It also recorded a net profit of Rs 125.8 crore during the year. For the financial year ended March 31, 2021, the company had reported consolidated revenue of Rs 1,415.67 crore, with net losses of Rs 114.6 crore.

Recently, former Nykaa CFO Arvind Agarwal joined PayU India as CFO. India is PayU’s largest market. This year, due to a drop in venture capital funding, several startups, including fintech ones, have made layoffs to cut costs. These include gold lending provider Rupeek, which laid off around 200 staff in June and Tiger Global-backed digital ledger platform OkCredit, which laid off 35-40 staff.

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