TheNFAPost Podcast

New Delhi, NFAPost: Credit card bill payments platform CRED is set to enter the wallet payments business by acquiring liquor delivery startup HipBar, which owns a prepaid payment instrument licence.

With the acquisition, a bunch of HipBar employees will join CRED, including one of its founders – Prasanna Natrajan, states a media report. The deal follows HipBar’s decision to exit the liquor delivery business burdened with regulatory hurdles in such a model across states. Cred’s interest in the startup comes from its plans to add a layer of payment wallets to its platform using HipBar’s PPI, which will allow them to offer cashbacks to consumers.

CRED recently announced a $251 million raise in its Series E round at a valuation of $4.01 billion (post-money). The company is one of the handful of start-ups to raise three back-to-back rounds within a year.

HipBar has had a PPI licence since August 2016, allowing consumers to buy a range of alcoholic beverages and pay using its wallet. Apart from the digital wallet, it can also offer payment systems such as prepaid transit cards, vouchers, etc.

Global spirit major Diageo, which acquired a 26% stake in HipBar in 2018, exited the startup earlier in July this year, selling its entire ownership to HipBar promoter Natarajan. HipBar had a turnover of over Rs 50 lakh in fiscal year 2020.

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