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Consolidation boom has gathered momentum in India's payment sector with 15 merger and acquisition(M&A) deals worth USD 340.15 million signed in 2016-17, News Corp VCCEdge report said on Tuesday. Key M&A deals in payments space include PayU Payments',acquisition of Citrus Payment Solutions for USD 130 million and E-Billing Solutions' acquisition of Techprocess Payment Services deal worth USD 88 million. In term of private equity (PE) investments, however, 2016 witnessed 14 deals worth USD 177.23 million, a decline of 60.36 per cent over the previous year. In terms of number of deals the decline was 51.72 per cent. "The year 2015 marked a period of buoyancy with a huge amount of funds flowing into the payments space.
Invariably, high growth spikes are followed by periods of consolidation," Gaurav Roy, business head of VCCEdge News Corp VCCircle said.The payments space was no different, he added. With investors being able to gauge overall market sentiment, funding moved to mature organisations rather than those in the seed stages, he said. Roy further said: "Demonetisation gave a definite push to the sector, creating a plethora of opportunities for young entrepreneurs. As News Corp VCCEdge data reveals, 2017 will now be remembered as a year when a certain sense of maturity announced its arrival in the payments space." Kalaari Capital's USD 3.59 million in Airpay Payments Services & Kstart Capital & Venture Highway's USD 0.67 million in Delvit Solutions key deals for 2017. Startups in payments space have received funding worth USD 159.71 million over 68 deals since 2012. Around USD 81.93 million of this has been series B, USD 58.47 million has been series A while USD 19.31 million has been angel/seed, the report said.