PhonePe Success Story: How It Became A Successful Payment App In India


In today’s world, convenience and ease have become paramount, leading to a significant revolution in the banking industry. The advent of digital payments and mobile wallets has made carrying cash cumbersome, and PhonePe has emerged as a major player in this sector.

Mobile apps have become the preferred method for various transactions, including groceries, utility bills, and phone recharge. Even large transactions are now conducted digitally, eliminating the risks associated with physical cash and streamlining the banking and finance sector. PhonePe, an Indian UPI-based app founded in December 2015, experienced significant growth and expansion after being acquired by Flipkart and its parent company Walmart in the following year. Currently, Flipkart owns 87% of PhonePe’s stakes, while the remaining 10% is owned by its parent company, with the minority shareholders of Flipkart holding the remaining shares.

PhonePe has established itself as the market leader in India’s digital payments space. The app enables users to manage their bank accounts digitally, providing convenient access to funds for various purposes. Users can easily link their credit and debit cards to their mobile wallets, facilitating digital payments. Additionally, PhonePe allows for instant money transfers, making it an essential tool in numerous situations.

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PhonePe Company Highlight

Company NamePhonePe
FoundersSameer Nigam, Burzin Engineer, and Rahul Chari
FoundedDecember 2015
Valuation$5.5 Billion (2021)
Revenues$92.85 mn (FY21)
Funding$1.99 bn (April 2022)
Parent OrganizationFlipkart

PhonePe – Industry

PhonePe operates in the digital payment industry, which has been experiencing significant growth in India. Over the past 12 months, digital payment transactions have seen a growth rate of approximately 76%, with a substantial number of first-time digital payment users. The industry is projected to reach around $700 billion by 2022. PhonePe holds a market share of 46.3%, positioning itself as the market leader, while Google Pay follows with a market share of 36.4% as of December 7, 2021.

PhonePe – Founders And Team

Sameer Nigam is the Founder and CEO of PhonePe. He previously served as the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Flipkart. Sameer Nigam completed his MBA from “The Wharton School” after studying at the University of Mumbai.

Rahul Chari is the Founder and CTO of PhonePe. He began his career as a software engineer at Andiamo Systems Inc. and has held managerial positions at companies such as Cisco Systems, Mime360, and Flipkart, where he served as the Senior Software Engineer, Manager, Co-founder and CTO, and Vice President of Engineering.

Burzin Engineer is the CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) of PhonePe. Before founding PhonePe, he served as the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at M-GO. Burzin Engineer has also worked with Flipkart as the Director of Engineering, as well as companies like and He pursued his degree from the University of Mumbai and later completed a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.

PhonePe – Business Model

PhonePe operates as a UPI-based payment platform that facilitates money transfers between banks. The app also offers various other features, including the sale of products and services such as groceries, insurance, and food. PhonePe promotes these products and services through its app. Additionally, PhonePe allows mobile recharge and facilitates payments for electricity and gas bills. The company has also introduced a POS machine that is widely used in shops and Kirana stores across India.

PhonePe has obtained a license for insurance broking from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). As an insurance brokerage firm, PhonePe can offer insurance products from multiple insurance providers to its customers, including personalized insurance products based on customer profiles.

PhonePe – Revenue Model

PhonePe generates revenue through various channels. It earns commissions from product promotions on its app and receives revenue from partners through the ‘Switch’ platform. Similar to how recharge points/centers earn commissions from telecom companies when customers recharge their phones, PhonePe also earns a commission when users recharge their phones through the app. The company also earns a commission from online purchases made via its app. Leveraging its extensive user database, PhonePe utilizes customer payment and purchasing patterns to gain valuable insights that can be monetized.

PhonePe – Funding And Investors

PhonePe has raised a total of $1.99 billion in funding across 14 rounds. The most recent funding was a $297 million infusion from PhonePe Private Limited Singapore, its Singapore-based company, on April 15, 2022. In December 2020, PhonePe received a $700 million investment from Walmart, an extension of which accounted for $350 million in the last funding round. The valuation of PhonePe was last reported to be $5.5 billion.

DateAmount RaisedRoundLead Investors
April 15, 2022$297 millionPhonePe Private Limited Singapore
August 18, 2021$350 millionCorporateWalmart
December 15, 2020$21 millionCorporateFlipkart
December 3, 2020$700 millionCorporateWalmart
April 27, 2020$28 millionCorporateFlipkart
February 26, 2020$59.6 millionCorporateFlipkart
December 10, 2019$ 78.8 millionCorporateFlipkart
October 22, 2019$ 54.7 millionCorporateFlipkart
July 30, 2019$ 93.5 millionCorporateFlipkart
March 22, 2019$ 101 millionCorporateFlipkart
August 9, 2018$ 60 millionCorporateFlipkart
April 1, 2018$ 42.7 millionCorporateFlipkart
March 23, 2018$ 69.4 millionCorporateFlipkart
October 4, 2017$ 33.4 millionCorporateFlipkart

PhonePe – Growth

PhonePe, founded in December 2015, experienced significant growth and milestones since its acquisition by Flipkart in 2016. Initially acquired at a valuation between $10 and $20 million, PhonePe’s valuation exceeded $5.5 billion by the end of 2021, highlighting its remarkable progress.

In 2017, PhonePe achieved the distinction of being the first UPI-based app to surpass 10 million downloads. The app consistently maintains a high ranking among finance apps on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. PhonePe emerged as a key driver of UPI transactions in India, achieving a milestone of 1 million app transactions in a single day in 2017.

Furthermore, in 2018, PhonePe introduced ‘micro apps’ on its platform. These micro apps provide additional functionality and services within the PhonePe app, enhancing the user experience and expanding the range of services available to customers.