W Power 2024

Vishnu Acharya: The deal maker

Harshil Mathur, co-founder and CEO of Razorpay, says Acharya's team will play an instrumental role as the fintech prepares for an IPO in the next two to three years

Neha Bothra
Published: Feb 28, 2024 01:13:44 PM IST
Updated: Feb 28, 2024 01:20:16 PM IST

Vishnu Acharya: The deal makerVishnu Acharya, Head of strategy and M&A/ investments, Razorpay Image: Selvaprakash Lakshmanan For Forbes India Outfit: Ekamathra; Styled By: Esha Kothari; Assistant Stylist: Kaveri Halder; Hair And Make Up: Krishnastudio

Vishnu Acharya | 29
Head of strategy and M&A/ investments, Razorpay

Vishnu Acharya, 29, currently heads corporate strategy and M&A at Razorpay. He claims to have closed deals worth $200 million across over 12 acquisitions while expanding Razorpay’s business in new areas and new markets. “I lead business strategy and integration of acquired companies spanning over 1,200 employees, and I partner with over 20 portfolio founders and sit on boards of investee companies that have grown over 100 percent year-over-year,” he says.  

Razorpay has invested in companies such as Shiprocket and NextPay. The acquisition of Ezetap and Curlec helped the fintech startup enter the offline payments space and expand its footprint in Southeast Asia.

Three years ago, Acharya and Razorpay’s core leadership team floated an angel fund, MarsShot, to back promising founders. “I met over 400 founders and invested in over 35 of them across SaaS, consumer, B2B,” Acharya adds. “I advise our portfolio on strategy, fundraising and hiring. Our investee startups have a combined value of over $500 million, with follow-ons from global VCs like Sequoia, Accel, Matrix.”

Acharya joined Razorpay in 2019 and helped set up the corporate strategy team and lead strategic projects. “In late 2020, I started building the thesis for inorganic growth for Razorpay along with the founders,” he says. “In the last two or three years, I built the M&A strategy and hired a team to execute deals and integrate the acquired companies.”

Peak XV’s managing director Ishaan Mittal, a board member at Razorpay, attributes much of the fintech’s success in the M&A space to Acharya. “He has done a terrific job of building a phenomenal network in the fintech ecosystem. He has played a full end-to-end role of keeping a tab on the pipeline of the companies that we could acquire, and building a relationship with the founders,” Mittal says.

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Harshil Mathur, co-founder and CEO of Razorpay, says Acharya’s team will play an instrumental role as the fintech prepares for an IPO in the next two to three years.

Over the next few years, Acharya wants to support founders of early-stage companies in their journey as entrepreneurs and focus on Razorpay’s growth strategy. “I want to chart Razorpay’s expansion into new categories and markets, and I am optimistic that I will be able to drive a large percentage of it,” he says. 

Vishnu Acharya: The deal maker

Acharya had a brief year-long entrepreneurial stint before he joined ISB in 2018. He says he raised funds from angel investors and founded OHHDaily, a foodtech startup, that served 1.4 million meals per year to office-goers in 2017. He graduated a year earlier and started his career at BNP Paribas.  

(This story appears in the 23 February, 2024 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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