CRED looks to acquire HipBar for PPI license; plans wallet payments business

CRED that a

llows credit card bill payments, is entering the wallet payments by almost acquiring liquor delivery startup HipBar, reports suggest.

According to Mint, CRED founder Kunal Shah and brother Rohan Shah Naresh have joined the HipBar Board, intending to acquire the prepaid payment instrument (PPI) licence of the liquor delivery startup. With the acquisition, a slew of HipBar employees will join CRED, including one of its founders Prasanna Natrajan, the report added.

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, it had a turnover of Rs 50 Lakh in FY20 & its net worth was Rs 7.76 Cr, down from a turnover of Rs 1.4 Cr in FY19 & a net worth of INT 19.6 Cr.

In June 2018, Diageo’s United Spirits Ltd also bet on the growing alcoholic beverage market in India and picked a 26% stake in HipBar for Rs 27 Cr but in July'21, the company exited a 98% loss by selling the entire stake at Rs 52 Lakh to Natrajan.

CRED has been trying to foray into the neobanking fintech business for quite some time now. The Kunal Shah-led fintech startup, operational since 2018, has been eyeing a piece of ancillary services built around its primary ecosystem of credit card-centric services.

In early 2020, it had launched Rent Pay, a service enabling users to pay their monthly rent through credit card. Later, it forayed into ecommerce with CRED Store, where consumers could buy products from Indian and international D2C brands and FMCG companies. It also launched its digital payment that would convert CRED reward coins across ecommerce sites to shop and unlock discounts.

Recently, it also ventured into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending with a community-driven product — CRED Mint. The startup stated that it would enable members to earn interest on idle money by lending to other high-trust members.

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