Gurgaon-based MobiKwik, a mobile wallet company which has applied for a payment bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India, has received $25 million in funding from hedge fund Tree Line Asia Master Fund (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Cisco Investments—Cisco's venture capital arm—American Express Ventures, strategic investment group within American Express, and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.
A press note by the company says the funds will be used for “investments in technology/data analytics, brand building and growing the network of users and merchants.” MobiKwik, with 15,000 users, claims to be the second-largest mobile wallet company in India after Paytm which has 25 million users.
This year, MobiKwik plans to focus on partnering with more than 1,00,000 offline merchants across the country who will serve as points for loading cash into the wallet and for making mobile wallet payments. The company recently tied up with Café Coffee Day, where users can use MobiKwik's wallet to make payments. In the press note, Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO, MobiKwik, said, “We have a 100 percent focus on creating a neutral, interoperable and widely accepted wallet. With over 15 million wallet users and neutrality towards 25,000 merchants, we are now aiming for the next level of growth and building a ubiquitous mobile wallet.”
Singh added the company will leverage American Express's and Cisco's “strong understanding of financial transactions, user behaviour and bleeding-edge technology to make MobiKwik the most trusted mobile wallet.”
MobiKwik is among the 40 companies that have applied for a payment bank licence. It faces stiff competition from large players such as Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, Airtel M-Commerce Services Ltd and Vodafone India. MobiKwik is hoping that if it receives a payment bank licence, it can “disrupt the delivery of financial services by using mobile technology to reach people that the existing banking networks have been unable to reach.”