Helion Advisors, Social+Capital, Berggruen Holdings lead $8M Series B round for India-based Ezetap
India-based mobile payment startup Ezetap secured $8 million for its Series B round led by Helion Advisors, Social+Capital and Berggruen Holdings, TechCrunch reported.
As part of the deal, Helion's Ashish Gupta will be joining the Board of Directors at Ezetap. The latest funding round brings to $11.5 million the fundraising amount Ezetap has raised so far. This includes the Series A proceeds in November 2012 which reached $3.5 million. Ezetap is backed by Social+Capital Partnership Founder and former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya and Indian seed fund Angelprime which incubated it in 2011, the report said.
Proceeds from the latest round will be used by Ezetap to grow in other regions, specifically in the Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Ezetap is similar to Square which turns a mobile phone to a point-of-sales terminal when a device is connected to it. The device, card reader and chip all sell for $50 and so far, there are already 12,000 of them sold. Ezetap intends to sell more than 100,000 of these devices in the three markets they plan to grow in this year, the report said.
Ezetap CEO Abhijit Bose told TechCrunch in an interview, "From day one, we wanted to go global and really felt that mobile payments in general is a great opportunity for emerging markets. There's disparity in cash versus electronic payments leading to the challenges of financial inclusion."
Ezetap build the platform for a year before officially rolling it out in January last year with Citibank mobile payment. From then, the platform grew as other lenders as well as e-commerce firms like Flipkart and BigBasket also got on board, the report said.
Although Ezetap is likened to Square, Bose does not relish the comparison of being called "the Square of India." Bose said, "I always hate it when people call it that [Square of India]. Fundamentally, we are attacking underserved markets and are both similar in thinking about mobile payments. But we want to build a business that makes us number one mobile payment platform in emerging markets."