Bengaluru-based ZestMoney has announced it is laying off 100 employees, or about 20% of its workforce, following a botched acquisition deal by fintech firm PhonePe last month, per a report by Times of India.
Backed by Goldman Sachs and Xiaomi, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform, had about 450 employees, all of whom were expected to be absorbed by PhonePe if the acquisition proceeded.
However, the Walmart-backed PhonePe, which was supposed to acquire the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform in a deal pegged between $150 million and $300 million, decided to halt its proposed acquisition citing lapses in due diligence, disagreement over valuation, business sustainability, and ZestMoney’s shareholding structure, according to the news report.
Following the failed deal, the company held a town hall on March 30 to inform employees about layoffs across departments. It had also gone ahead to send out a message to a few startups seeking help for outplacing ZestMoney employees on March 31.
It has however resorted to a 100-person layoff from its workforce as it looks to sustain "business continuity".
Founded by Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma, and Ashish Anantharaman in 2015, ZestMoney offers a Buy Now Pay Later Service, allowing customers to pay for products over time. The platform has up to 17 million registered userbase and 85,000 retail touchpoints across India.
The company was valued at $470 million in the last funding round. It has raised a total of $140 million from investors such as Australia’s BNPL platform Zip, Goldman Sachs, Quona Capital, and Xiaomi.