Bangalore: Ezetap, the universal mobile payments provider leading the fintech revolution in India, today announced it has secured $16 million in new funding. The largest investors of this round of funding is JS Capital Management, the investment fund of Jonathan Soros. Existing investors Social Capital and Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures not only participated, but increased their stake in the company as part of this round. As part of this round, Salil Seshadri, CIO at JS Capital Management, will join the Board. Ezetap will use the financing to continue innovating and expanding its payments platform – first of its kind that lets any business accept any form of payment – as well as grow its sales and operations across India and abroad.
Founded by Silicon Valley veterans in 2011, Ezetap was one of the pioneers in the mobile point of sale (POS) market, and the first company to focus on integrating that payment experience into other software applications and systems used by merchants to run their businesses. While most payment companies today still make money from transaction fees, Ezetap was one of the first companies to move payments to a pure software-as-a-service business model. Ezetap created India’s first universal payments platform in 2015, allowing merchants to accept any digital transaction including physical cards, online payments, mobile wallets, or one-click payments via India’s new UPI system that allows any device or interface to use biometric data, SMS, or digital QR codes.
“India is on the brink of a massive surge in consumer consumption, but not until the underlying payments infrastructure is securely in place,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of Social Capital. “Ezetap is in an incredible position as the leading platform for Indian merchants, with deep IP and no obvious US proxy – it’s like a combination of Stripe, AWS and Android, built for the complexities of the Indian market. This team has balanced patience and ambition as they’ve solved a truly hard problem, and now they’re starting to really scale and claim Ezetap’s place as one of the most important emerging technology platforms in India.”
The rapid ascent of Ezetap comes at a time of tectonic shifts in the way legacy industries operate, thanks to the rise of global software platforms running on mobile internet. Uber and Airbnb revolutionized transportation and hospitality in the United States, and Alibaba transformed commerce in China. Now, Ezetap is revolutionizing fintech, starting in India. The inflection point was when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his unprecedented demonetization initiative last November, which fast-tracked consumer adoption of digital payments and pushed all government agencies and merchants to transact digitally.
As a result, Ezetap has seen massive growth over the past year, including the following milestones:
· Enabling digital payments for more than 200,000 merchants and users across India. In addition to many small businesses, some of India’s largest corporations and government agencies are integrating their software systems with Ezetap.
· Processing $135 million in transactions monthly — 8x growth over the last 18 months — and is on track to increase transaction volume by another 3x in the next 18 months
· Annual GTC run rate of $1.45 billion across all transaction types, with $1.23 billion for cards alone
· More than 15 million consumers have transacted on Ezetap’s platform. 8.5 million consumers transacted on Ezetap for the first time in 2016 alone
· Acquired FortunePay to enhance its payment processing infrastructure for banks. A merchant or developer can now begin accepting any form of payment via Ezetap within 24 hours.
“We are fortunate to not only have investment but strategic insight from top tier investors who have backed some of the best businesses across the globe. India is at least five years ahead of the US in terms of fintech innovation, and Ezetap is at the forefront, thanks to the support and guidance of our investors,” said Ezetap co-founder and CEO Abhijit Bose. “It is a perfect storm. We have a society and economy that needed — and was ready — for digital adoption, mobile Internet infrastructure that finally allows us to reach every citizen, a once-in-a-lifetime government policy, coupled with a scrappy fintech ecosystem in which the winners will have built scalable, difficult-to-replicate businesses in a low margin market. The fintech companies that come out of India in the next few years will help redefine business models and how people transact globally.”
“We have been watching what’s been going on in India fintech for several years, and have been impressed by the number of technical, business, and operational challenges that Ezetap has solved enroute to creating the model for how we believe payments will be handled in the future,” said Jonathan Soros, founder and CEO of JS Capital Management. “Ezetap is democratizing payments in a country that is going digital at an unprecedented rate, but the impact of that transformation will be felt globally.”