New Delhi: Gurgaon-based One MobiKwik Systems Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates the virtual wallet MobiKwik, on Friday said that Nasdaq-listed firm Net1 will invest $40 million in the company, as part of a strategic partnership.
Net1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. through its technology agreement will also integrate its virtual card technology across all MobiKwik wallets.
In May, Mobikwik had announced that it was gearing up to raise $50 million in its Series C round and had raised an undisclosed amount from Japan’s payment gateway GMO and Taiwan’s semi-conductor company MediaTek.
“Our strategic investment in MobiKwik provides us with meaningful participation in one of the largest and fastest growing digital payment markets globally. This investment will accelerate our ability to build scale in India.
Over the next three years, MobiKwik has targeted having 150 million users and half a million merchants, and the introduction of our various technologies is expected to enhance their value proposition and differentiation to users, online and offline merchants, increase acceptance, and accelerate growth,” said Serge Belamant, chairman and chief executive officer, Net1.
“With Net1’s expertise and track record in facilitating financial inclusion across Africa, our strategic relationship with MobiKwik marks an important milestone from which we can leverage India’s substantial efforts to drive financial inclusion, down to the grassroots in rural and deep rural areas. Many of our solutions are tailor-made to provide multiple financial and other services, increase accessibility, eliminate fraud and reduce cash,” he added.
Net1 is a provider of payment solutions and transaction processing services across emerging economies. It has a primary listing on the Nasdaq and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Its universal electronic payment system (UEPS) uses biometrically secure smart cards that operate in real-time but offline. Through Transact24, Net1 offers debit, credit and prepaid processing and issuing services for Visa, MasterCard and ChinaUnionPay in China and other territories across Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa, and the US.
India is headed for an exponential increase in digital payments over the next four years, said a study by Google (Alphabet Inc.) and Boston Consulting Group in July. The digital payments industry India will grow by 10 times to touch $500 billion by 2020 and contribute 15% of gross domestic product (GDP), the report said.
MobiKwik allows users to load money into a digital wallet using cash, loyalty points, debit card, credit card and net banking, after which it can be utilized to make purchases online. It enables users to discover retailers (brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce websites, m-commerce apps, billers etc) and then start paying them.
It currently claims to be connecting 32 million users with 100,000 retailers. It also counts investors such as Sequoia Capital, American Express, Tree Line Asia and Cisco Investments on its board.
It is currently powering payments for companies such as Uber, Meru Cabs, Big Bazaar, Oyo, Zomato, Barista, PVR, Archies, BookMyShow, Grofers, Big Basket, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, WHSmith India, Myntra, Jabong, Pepperfry, MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip and Yatra. Last year, it also tied up with state-run Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to offer its wallet service as a payment option for customers on IRCTC’s Android mobile app.