Australian Investment Firm Bets Big on Mint Wireless (Feb. 4, 2014)
Australia is lighting up as the next hotbed of m-POS activity as Mint Wireless makes key moves to target a fast-growing base of small businesses going mobile and Square Inc. reportedly is considering expansion Down Under. Melbourne-based boutique investment firm Acorn Capital Limited is betting big on Mint Wireless, purchasing 31,000 shares from the directors of Mint parent TAAJ Corp., making Acorn one of the firm’s substantial shareholders, according to an announcement today from Mint Wireless Ltd. The news comes on the heels of Mint Wireless’ Jan. 31 launch of Mintegrate, a platform the company created to help developers integrate mobile payments into smartphone applications for iOS and Android devices.
Coincidentally or not, m-POS pioneer Square also is eyeing expansion into Australia, according to a report last week in the Australian Financial Review. Australia’s Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly paid a recent visit to San Francisco, where he met with Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, but Square has remained mum on the report and on any expansion plans. Square launched in the U.S. in 2010, in Canada in 2012 and in Japan last year.
Acorn’s interest in Mint Wireless, founded in 2006 by Alex and Andrew Teoh, builds on Mint’s estimate that more than 2 million small and midsize businesses in Australia—representing 94 percent of all Aussie companies—are ripe for m-POS solutions. Mint Wireless also offers a white-label m-POS solution through several banks, including Bank of New Zealand. Mint Wireless in 2012 announced an agreement with Europe’s easyJet Airline Co. Ltd. to accept EMV card payments with its m-POS solution in airports across Europe; other clients include Cadbury Schweppes in Australia and MYOB, an accounting software firm that integrates Mint Wireless m-POS solutions into its products distributed in Australia and New Zealand.