India: MobiKwik Raises $25 Million; PIF India Renews Focus on Financial Inclusion (April 8, 2015)
With a fresh infusion of cash, Indian payment startup MobiKwik plans to invest in data analytics, brand building and growing its network of mobile wallet users and merchants, according to reports. MobiKwik announced it has raised nearly $25 million in a Series B round, led by Singapore-based hedge fund Tree Line Asia. The other investors included American Express, Cisco Investments and existing investor, Sequoia Capital. In addition to access to Cisco’s networking technology, MobiKwik will have access to American Express’ expertise in payments processing, according to The Economic Times.
MobiKwik hopes to expand its registered wallet user base from 15 million to 100 million wallet users and increase its network of brick-and-mortar merchants to 100,000 by the end of the year, TechCrunch reported.
In other emerging payments news in India, Prepaid International Forum (PIF) is renewing its focus on the opportunity for prepaid to drive financial inclusion in the cash-dominant country, and is encouraging members to take advantage of positive regulatory changes that enable nonbank providers to offer certain financial services. Last November, the Reserve Bank of India issued guidelines for licensing Payments Banks in the private sector to further financial inclusion in India by providing basic banking services to the financially excluded.
Members of PIF’s India Chapter recently concluded that the move to enable a range of businesses to operate as Payments Banks represented a major step in helping to promote financial inclusion.
“PIF welcomes any step that encourages the development of innovative payment solutions, such as prepaid, to further financial inclusion,” said Amit Sethi, PIF India co-chairman. “With proven business models and converging technologies, PIF believes that prepaid should form an integral part of a country’s financial inclusion objectives.”
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