Ezetap, an India-based mobile payments firm frequently likened to Square, has raised a Series a round of Rs.17.5 crore funding, led by Silicon Valley-based VC firm Social+Capital Partnership. The round was completed by U.S.-based investors Peter Thiel, Yammer and Nicolas Berggruen, seed-stage funder AngelPrime from U.S. origins also made a contribution to the round of funding.
The Ezetap PoS was launched in India in September and it is also available in Kenya. The firm will bring in the products into more countries in Asia and Africa in the near future.
Founded in 2011 by Abhijit Bose, Satheesh Vattekkat and Bhaktha Keshavachar, Bangalore-based Ezetap uses point-of-sale (PoS) hardware which reads data directly from the magnetic stripe of a customer’s debit or credit card and securely transmits it to the server where it is processed. Being a firm out of Asia, Ezetap works with a range of feature phones in addition to Android, Windows Mobile and iOS devices such as phones and tablets.
“The transformation of mobile handsets into intelligent points-of-sale has revolutionized the payments industry, but for the most part this growth has been in the U.S. and parts of Western Europe,” says Abhijit Bose, CEO of Ezetap.
He continues to add, “In India alone, there are almost 30 crore cards but only 6 lakh terminals. However, the low penetration of smart-phones, distribution challenges, and early stage in market maturity requires a different understanding of the customer, business model, and breadth of capabilities.” Merchants can calibrate the hardware — which costs Rs.1,500 to go live within just minutes once they have approval from their bank. The startup makes its money via subscription pricing for merchants, who are not charged on transactions, although their banks may take a cut.