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Online payment service PayU has acquired California-based payment and security firm Wibmo for $70 million. The firms said they will continue to run separately, though they will work together to build unique solutions.

PayU, a subsidiary of South Africa’s online conglomerate Naspers, said the deal will allow its merchant and financial institution partners to improve conversion rates and increased sales.

Wibmo helps banks in over 20 nations with payment authentication and risk-based decisions across “billions of online and mobile payment transactions,” it said in a statement. Wibmo’s authentication solutions are certified by Mastercard, Visa, and RuPay. The company’s team of technology and payments experts will join PayU team as part of the deal.

In recent years, PayU has focused on growing its business in emerging markets such as India, and its bet there has largely paid off. The company has become one of the biggest payment processors in India, with more than 350,000 merchant partners. Last year, Wibmo acquired Mypooling, an Indian payment startup backed by Accel Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and Rajan Anandan, among others.

“This acquisition will also help PayU accelerate its credit business by leveraging big data to power credit on various online and offline merchants in partnership with leading lending players,” PayU said in a statement.

The announcement today underscores how ambitious PayU is in emerging markets — so much so that it is often referred to as the “PayPal of growing markets.” PayU CFO Aakash Moondhra said, “India is a priority market for PayU and we are committed to making digital payments frictionless through our innovative products and services, supporting the Government’s vision of a digital India. PayU’s technologically future-ready products are defining and reinventing India’s payments landscape, supporting the country’s transition to a cashless, digital economy.”

Naspers’ fintech arm PayU has invested more than $500 million in various startups, up from some $350 million a year ago. Last year, it bought Zooz, a startup that provides APIs to merchants to enable support for a number of payment solutions. In 2016, PayU acquired Citrus Pay for $130 million to further grow its wallet business in India.


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