Razorpay, an India-based payments and banking platform for businesses, announced Tuesday its first international expansion into South-East Asia with the acquisition of a majority stake in Curlec, a Malaysian fintech firm, for an undisclosed amount.

This marks Razorpay’s fourth acquisition overall and its first in international waters, taking one step closer to becoming a fintech leader in emerging markets, Razorpay said in a statement.

Razorpay believes Curlec’s founders along with their team’s knowledge and expertise on Malaysia’s payment ecosystem and demography, will be the ideal partners for the company to expand into Malaysia.

It opined that this acquisition will help both companies build and scale seamless payment solutions for Malaysia’s businesses and enable global payments for its Indian businesses.

With this acquisition, Razorpay said it aims to further solidify its mission of being a one-stop destination for any and every payment and banking need of businesses, not just for Indian businesses but even for businesses in Malaysia, empowering them to worry less, accomplish more and witness uncontrolled growth.

“With Curlec coming onboard, we at Razorpay are really excited as we mark our first step towards expanding in the South East Asia region. With the vast experience in a heterogenous market like India over the last seven years, our expansion to the Southeast Asia payments market is timed exactly to coincide with the company’s growing dominance in all things payments,” said Harshil Mathur, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Razorpay.

According to the statement, South-East Asia is a digital payment powerhouse, having witnessed significant financial transformation over the last few years, driven by changing consumer and retail trends and more inclusive payment options.

And while e-commerce is already booming in Malaysia with an estimated market size of $21 billion in 2021, an industry report said it is estimated to grow further to over $35 billion by 2025, fuelled by the emergence of new mobile payment methods. Malaysian shoppers are more open to cross-border shopping, with 40 percent of online transactions happening cross-border.

And with the entry of new e-commerce consumers, Razorpay believes a broader range of payment services are required. The company is confident that an acquisition such as this will further unveil new channels for global business expansion for online businesses based in India and Malaysia.

“The team and values of Curlec mirrors that of ours in every sense. It is incredible to witness the scale of impact that Zac, Steve and the Curlec team have created in such a
short span of time. Curlec has a similar culture like Razorpay and the same product and tech first philosophy of building products and delighting customers. And so, we are eagerly
waiting to work with Curlec’s incredible talent and strength,

“With a measured approach, we look forward to learning the nuances of Malaysia, their business and customer needs, and slowly adapt and build products tailored to the SEA geography. Together, we are confident that we will be optimally positioned to take on the unique challenges that both India and Malaysian markets put forth, and look forward to reimagining and transforming the payments ecosystem in South-East Asia,” Harshill added.

Curlec is a Kuala Lumpur-based company, building solutions for recurring payments for modern businesses of all sizes. Leading the baton of innovation within the region, the company was founded by two passionate entrepreneurs, Zac Liew and Steve Kucia in 2018.

The company builds new-age technology solutions on top of existing payments infrastructure, to make it easier for companies of all sizes, to collect recurring payments and take control of their cash flows. Curlec currently works with hundreds of businesses across Malaysia with notable names including insurance company AXA, fintech lending firm Funding Societies, and Axiata Digital to name a few.

Initially backed by 500 Global and other investors, the company’s annual revenue has been growing at nearly 5 times since 2018.

“We are incredibly excited to be combining forces with Harshil, Shashank and the Razorpay team. We’ve long admired what they’ve built in India from afar and are fully aligned with a common vision of building payment and banking solutions from top to bottom, for any business. We look forward to the next phase of our journey and scaling together across Malaysia and Southeast Asia,” said Zac Liew, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Curlec.

Prior to this, Razorpay acquired TERA Finlabs, (artificial intelligence-based risk tech software as a service Platform) in 2021, Opfin (payroll and human resource management solution) in 2019 and Thirdwatch (fraud analytics artificial intelligence-platform) in 2018.

Razorpay, recently crowned as India’s most valued private fintech company, serves over 8 million businesses including the likes of Facebook, Ola, Zomato, Swiggy, Cred and achieved $60 billion total payment volume (TPV) as of early December 2021.

The company clocked over 300 percent year on year growth, second year in a row and plans to achieve $90 billion TPV by the end of 2022.

The fintech unicorn is at the forefront of India’s digital financial revolution building the central nervous system for digital India, with clear dominance in digital payments and itsfast growing business neobanking arm, RazorpayX.

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