JS Capital leads $16 million funding round in Ezetap
New Delhi: Enterprise payments solutions firm Ezetap on Wednesday said it has raised $16 million in a growth round led by JS Capital Management Llc, a US-based venture capital fund.
As part of the round, existing investors Social Capital and Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures invested as well, raising their shareholding in the firm. Salil Seshadri from JS Capital Management joins the board of directors at Ezetap.
The latest round makes Social Capital, which led the company’s $25-million series C fund-raise in August 2015, the largest shareholder in the company, followed by Horizons and early investors Helion Venture Partners and Prime Venture Partners, Ezetap co-founder and chief executive Abhijit Bose said.
The company will invest the funds in an aggressive sales and marketing effort and scaling its suite of enterprise solutions. Ezetap has set sights on monthly transaction volumes of Rs3,000 crore in one year, up from Rs800-900 crore a month it does currently.
“The money now is to invest in increasing our scale and market share; now we have an opportunity to go in every sector with a tailor-made solution that supports all payment methods,” Bose said.
The effort will be to sell to top firms in e-commerce and logistics, insurance, telecommunications and oil and gas sectors, and also provide payments infrastructure for large government projects including smart cities, Bose said.
Popular for its pocket-sized mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices that work alongside Android phones, Ezetap has over the years evolved as a payments platform targeted at enterprises. The Bengaluru-based firm has developed a software framework that allows businesses to configure the Ezetap platform with their existing CRM framework and any internal and external applications.
“The last round of funding went towards deep technical investments; we believe the future of payments is platforms that can plug in with future softwares,” Bose said.
Logistics operators, for instance, have separate apps for customers and delivery agents reporting into central software. According to Bose, Ezetap’s solutions can manage payments between all these interfaces.
“We have entered an age of software where more and more businesses are saying don’t give me different products for different softwares—they all have to work as one,” he said.
With increasing smartphone availability and internet connectivity, a host of payment channels and e-wallets have come up, even as credit and debit card transactions have increased multifold. This has prompted enterprises to deploy innovative solutions that manage payments from varied instruments across platforms.
In 2016-17 alone, digital payments—which included credit and debit cards, direct to bank transfers and new forms like unified payments interface and e-wallets—grew 55% in volume and 24.2% in value over the previous year, according to Niti Aayog estimates that Mint reported in July.
“India is on the brink of a massive surge in consumer consumption, but not until the underlying payments infrastructure is securely in place,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of Social Capital.
“Ezetap is in an incredible position as the leading platform for Indian merchants, with deep IP and no obvious US proxy – it’s like a combination of Stripe, AWS and Android, built for the complexities of the Indian market,” Palihapitiya said.
Bose said Ezetap POS terminals have been well received by customers, with over 200,000 of them deployed. The firm is a major player in the enterprise POS space alongside PineLabs.
The POS devices are expected to go through a major revamp. “Older terminals are going to get more sophisticated… Basically we will offer any form factor that you can imagine,” Bose said.
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