Helion Venture Partners leads $8M in Series B funding in mobile payments firm Ezetap
Bangalore-based mobile payments service provider Ezetap Mobile Solutions Pvt Ltd has bagged $8 million in its Series B round of funding led by Helion Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Social+Capital Partnership and New York-based Berggruen Holdings. Ezetap plans to use the funds to accelerate its growth across Asia and Africa.
As part of the deal, Helion's senior managing director Ashish Gupta will join Ezetap's board while managing director Rahul Chandra will be part of its team of advisors.
Ezetap was founded in 2011 by Abhijit Bose (CEO), Bhakta Keshavachar (CTO). The Ezetap solution turns any merchant's mobile device into an intelligent point of sale that is able to read all cards and complete a full spectrum of financial transactions, including credit card sale, real-time bill payment and ATM cash withdrawals or deposits.
This solution is comprised of a secure and lightweight card reader, a configurable mobile app and a flexible platform that allows Ezetap to provide customised value-added services and integrate to a merchant's existing systems. The Ezetap Card Reader can connect to a mobile device via Bluetooth, USB or audio jacks.
Last year, the firm launched a mobile POS device priced at $50. Ezetap claims to have deployed over 12,000 mPOS devices across Southeast Asia and Africa, and expects the number to cross 100,000 in 12 months. The firm currently serves leading companies in e-commerce, bill payment & collections, insurance, FMCG, restaurants & hospitality, retail, taxi services, and also organisations focused on financial inclusion.
In November 2012, the company had raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from Social+Capital Partnership and a group of individuals, including Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal and one of the Facebook's early investors), David Sacks (founder of Yammer) and Nicolas Berggruen of Berggruen Holdings. Ezetap was incubated by early stage investment fund Angel Prime.
"There is an enormous need to provide electronic payments across emerging markets. We have built a successful model based on world-class technology, scalable distribution through a combination of partnerships and our own direct sales force, and a cost structure that works in these countries. Our focus is to scale this model and become the leader for electronic payments across emerging markets," said CEO Abhijit Bose.
Mobile payments space has been attracting lot of investor interest lately. Early this month, Mumbai-based mobile POS services provider Mswipe Technologies Pvt Ltd raised funding led by existing investor Matrix Partners. Last month, Delhi-based Cobboc Pvt Ltd, which offers a mobile-based payments app Eashmart, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from IIM-A's tech incubator CIIE and two unnamed angel investors. In the same month, Bangalore-based mobile payment solutions provider iKaaz raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by Ananda Kallugadde, managing director of NeoBytes Software Solutions.
Ezetap is Helion's fourth investment since January 1. Early this month, it participated in a $5.8 million funding round in Bangalore- and California-based Jivox Software. Earlier, Helion along with Accel Partners invested $1 million in price comparison portal MySmartPrice.com. A few days before this development, the VC firm put in an undisclosed amount in LinguaNext Technologies, a language management platform for software applications.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)