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Digital Wallet Service firm MobiKwik raises Rs 155 crore

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Digital wallet services firm MobiKwik today said it has raised $25 million (about Rs 155 crore) from a clutch of investors, including Tree Line Asia, Cisco Investments, American Express and Sequoia Capital.

The start-up, which claims to have over 15 million users and 25,000 merchants (retailers), will utilise the funds to expand its offline presence by increasing physical point of sale (PoS) locations across the country.

The company expects to raise an additional $100 million (about Rs 620 crore) by the end of this year.

“We have raised close to $25 million in Series B round led by Tree Line Asia. The other investors include Cisco Investments, American Express as well as existing investor Sequoia Capital.

“We will utilise these funds for expanding our presence in terms of physical PoS points and other infrastructure,” MobiKwik Founder and CEO Bipin Preet Singh told PTI.

Besides this round, the firm had raised about $30 million in the past.

The funds will be used for investments in technology/data analytics, brand building and growing the network of users and merchants, he added.

“This year, we will focus on creating a pervasive brick-and-mortar retail network of more than 100,000 merchants across India.

“The brick-and-mortar retail stores will serve both as points for cash loading into the wallet and for wallet payments acceptance,” Singh said.

The company had also applied for a Payments Bank license in February 2015 with the Reserve Bank and the firm is upgrading its services and infrastructure in anticipation of getting the license.

On plans to raise USD 100 million in second half of 2015, Singh said the real challenge is to ensure that the local grocery store owner accepts payments through digital and mobile wallets.

“We plan to build new ways to help people put money in their mobile wallets, that is safe and secure. This task will require huge resources and this $100 million will be utilised to achieve this target,” he added.

MobiKwik’s focus is on creating a neutral, interoperable and widely accepted wallet, Singh said.

“With over 15 million wallet users, and neutrality towards 25,000 merchants, we are now aiming for the next level of growth and building a ubiquitous mobile wallet for a billion Indians. With 90 per cent of Indians unbanked, simplified payments via a mobile wallet make perfect sense,” he said.

This exercise will require getting on-board more merchants to accept mobile and digital wallets, creating a lot of physical PoS and promoting awareness among people about such payment options, Singh said.

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