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ZestMoney, a fintech startup backed by Goldman Sachs and previously valued at $450M, has been sold to financial services company DMI Group in a move that marks an end to a year of upheaval for the Indian online lending platform.

Without disclosing the specific terms of the deal, an inside source reveals that this acquisition primarily serves DMI’s interest in acquiring talent, with all of ZestMoney’s investors incurring losses as a result.

  • Acquisition Details: Following the acquisition, DMI Group has secured exclusive rights to all Zest brands, integrating them into the DMI Finance NBFC arm, which will now serve as a preferred lender on the Zest platform. Moreover, DMI has plans to incorporate ZestMoney’s checkout financing platform into its offerings for customers.
  • Added Value: DMI Group anticipates that its customer base, substantial balance-sheet strength, and advanced risk-management experience will fuel growth across Zest’s vast online and offline merchant network.
  • Previous Challenges: The announcement of the acquisition comes after ZestMoney, a buy now, pay later platform revealed plans to shut down the startup last month. Founders of ZestMoney, Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma, and Ashish Anantharaman, stepped down in May last year when initial acquisition discussions with fintech titan PhonePe fell through.
  • Leadership Change: Control of the company was transferred to three new leaders who managed to secure a few million dollars from existing investors and sought a fresh direction for the company.

Over its eight-year journey, the Bengaluru-based startup had garnered support from backers such as PayU, Quona, Zip, Omidyar Network, and Ribbit Capital. It employed around 150 people and raised an impressive sum exceeding $130M.

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