FreeCharge officially denied claims that the company is selling a 25 per cent stake to Paypal. The rumor stated that the stake would amount to approximately 200 million USD. An official spokesperson from FreeCharge stepped up to put an end to the rumors. In the previous week, reports have been claiming that the electronic payments facilitator PayPal had originally offered to buy off an immense 51 per cent stake in Freecharge.
"There is no basis to a speculative media story about FreeCharge and PayPal being in discussion about a stake sale. There is no such discussion/proposal and the story is completely incorrect," says the FreeCharge spokesperson.
FreeCharge is an Indian e-commerce company founded in 2010. It has a website and an app that allows users to recharge prepaid mobile, postpaid mobile, DTH and Data Cards for the country. During April of last year, FreeCharge was acquired by Snapdeal for almost $450 million.
Recently, the Indian government announced demonetization of the country's 500- and 1000- rupee notes. Citizens are given until December to swap out old bills for new ones. In a span of just 24 hours of the announcement of demonetization, FreeCharge says the wallet loads grew 12 times and has been increasing by the same average since then.
Kunal Bahl, Snapdeal co-founder and CEO says that within the first 24 hours, wallet loads grew by 12 times compared to the 30 days' average before. Bahl further adds that the number of people downloading the Freecharge app, registrations for mobile wallet, transactions on third party merchants are all growing by 10-15 times on a per day average basis.
Paypal, on the other hand, is busy actively going after another Indian mobile wallet company, Paytm. Paypal filed a trademark infringement complaint in the Indian Trademark office for Paytm's logo bearing similarities to the global payments giant. Paypal says that Paytm adopted their blue two-toned color scheme while having 'Pay' as a first syllable.