Indian mobile payment startup Ezetap has raised US$8 million in series B funding led by Helion Advisors. Silicon Valley-based Social+Captial Partnership and Berggruen also contributed to the investment.
The Bangalore-based startup makes a Square-esque gadget that attaches to a smartphone and allows retailers and merchants to process credit card transactions on their phones.
The fresh funding will be used in driving Ezetap’s growth and expansion across Asia and Africa. It expects to deploy over 100,000 devices in the next 12 months. Already it has over 12,000 of its mobile point of Sale (MPOS) devices in use across markets in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Ezetap’s customers include companies in e-commerce (so they can take payment upon delivery at the doorstep), bill payment and collections, insurance, restaurants and hospitality, retail, taxi services, and organizations focused on financial inclusion.
Ezetap has plenty of competition in a number of nations in this sector, including from fellow Indian startup MSwipe, which got series B funding earlier this year.
According to Abhijit Bose, Ezetap’s CEO, there is an enormous need to provide e-payments in offline scenarios 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,” says Bose.
Bose, along with CTO Bhakta Keshavachar and chairman Sanjay Swamy, founded Ezetap in 2011. It was incubated by Banglore-based Angelprime.
With this fresh investment, Ashish Gupta, Helion Advisors’ senior managing director, joins the Ezetap board, along with Chamath Palihapitiya from Social+Capital and Sanjay Swamy from Angelprime.
Ezetap raised $3.5 million at series A stage in November 2012 from Social+Capital along with individual investors Peter Thiel (PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor), David Sacks (Yammer’s founder) and Nicolas Berggruen of Berggruen Holdings.
(Editing by Steven Millward)