Mumbai: Ebix Inc., an international supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance and financial services industry, has acquired a majority stake in payments services firm ItzCash for Rs800 crore (approximately $124 million) from Essel Group and other shareholders.
Ebix acquired an 80% stake in the company through a combination of primary and secondary share purchase. The transaction provided an exit to ItzCash’s existing venture capital shareholders Matrix Partners, Intel Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
ItzCash, which provides services such as prepaid cards, bill payments and remittance, serves almost 75 million consumers and 1,500 plus companies on its integrated payments solutions infrastructure. The company processes 6,00,000 transactions per day. In financial year 2016-17, it processed payments worth Rs14,000 crore through its network.
Ebix is present in more than 40 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, the US and UK. It powers multiple platforms across the world in the field of life, annuity, health, and property and casualty insurance, processing over $100 billion in insurance premiums annually.
“With the youngest tech-savvy society, the largest middle class, a 1.3 billion population, a country committed to going digital and a growth rate of 7% plus, India is an emerging economic superpower today. We are big believers in the power of exchanges and thus have been keen to take an early position in India in terms of powering financial and insurance exchanges," said Robin Raina, chairman and chief executive of Ebix.
Founded in 2006, ItzCash, which started with digital payments, has over the years expanded into areas such as remittances, financial services, corporate solutions, point of sale (PoS) terminals and payment gateway.
With the investment by Ebix, the company is looking to enter new businesses.
“Having established our leadership across payments, remittances and corporate solutions already, we will deepen our foray in areas of credit, insurance, healthcare and investments. We will continue to invest in our distribution network and technology, providing a fully integrated financial exchange," said Naveen Surya, managing director of ItzCash.
The company has partnerships with Visa, RuPay, and MasterCard and banks such as HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and RBL Bank. It works closely with corporates such as Amway, DishTV, Flipkart, BookMyShow, Uber, OYO Rooms, IRCTC, Satin Creditcare Network and others.
ItzCash already has a tie-up to sell insurance policies with two life insurance and two general insurance companies, he said, adding that more partnerships will be added.
“Traditionally, we were always helping them collect payments, but now we are also helping them sell policies. Similarly on the credit side, we have relationships with tech-enabled lending businesses, and those too will be expanded rapidly," said Surya.
Other businesses such as PoS terminals and remittances will also see expansion. The company could also look at acquiring businesses to grow, he added.
Surya said both parties would gain from this investment.
“In Indian market, Ebix gets an extended financial services plus a payments play, while we get their support on technology. Also, for our payments and other services, the global markets have opened up," he said.