TECHCRUNCH: The rise of e-commerce in India has triggered a wave of startups that are leveraging the increasing adoption of smartphones to provide mobile payment solutions. Alibaba invested in Paytm at an apparent billion dollar valuation earlier this year, and now MobiKwik is the latest to be flushed with new cash. New Delhi-based MobiKwik has pulled $25 million in funding, led by Singapore-based hedge fund Tree Line Asia. The deal included participation from a couple of interesting strategic investors — Cisco and American Express. (more…)
TOFLER: For the past few weeks, speculation has been rife that Russian Venture Capitalist Yuri Milner’s DST Global was set to invest $500 million in online cab aggregator Ola Cabs. The wait is now over. The latest funding round closed last week when ANI Technologies Private Limited, the owner of Ola Cabs, issued Series G of Preference Shares to various funds within the DST Global umbrella and to some of its existing investors. The company’s filings obtained from the Registrar of Companies reveals the list of investors and the money each has invested in these preference shares. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Cloud-based payroll processing startup ZenPayroll has closed on a $60 million Series B round, led by Google Capital. Emergence Capital Partners and Ribbit Capital also participated, along with existing investors General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Google Ventures. This now puts the total raised at $86.1 million at a $560 million post-money valuation for the startup. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Two months after making its first investment in Israel, Alibaba is digging deeper into the country’s startup ecosystem. Venture capital firm JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners) announced yesterday that it will partner with the e-commerce giant to give financial support to promising startups. The amount of money both companies will invest together was not disclosed. (more…)
E27.CO: Indian online marketplace Snapdeal has announced its foray into financial services with the acquisition of a majority stake in RupeePower, a digital financial products distribution platform, for an undisclosed amount. The e-commerce player will now offer consumers a financial services marketplace by integrating RupeePower onto the Snapdeal platform. It aims to enable US$1 billion consumer loans disbursal over the next two years.
TECHCRUNCH: MyCheck, another startup that wants to make it easy to pay your restaurant bill using your mobile phone, has closed a $5 million Series B. However, perhaps more noteworthy is the company’s new backer: the Spanish bank Santander via its recently launched Santander Innoventures Fund. (more…)
FINOVATE: Advanced Merchant Payments (AMP), a company that provides banks technology to offer loans to their small business customers, pulled in an undisclosed amount of funding today from Route 66 Ventures. The new installment is a follow-on round to the $5 million Series A round received in November 2014 from SBT Venture Capital. (more…)
E27.CO: Bangalore-based Artoo IT Solutions, a startup that offers customer relationship management solution to banks and financial institutions, has secured US$500,000 in funding from seed-stage investor Accion Venture Labs and Rianta Capital Zurich’s impact investment unit Artha Initiative. The startup will use the capital to enhance its product functionality, build team and scale operations globally. (more…)
GLOBES: iAngels has developed a model for investment of small amounts in start-ups, based on experienced investors. Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich continues to invest in Israeli start-ups: through Millhouse Capital, his investment company, he has led a $2.25 million investment in iAngels, a company started by entrepreneurs Mor Assia and Shelly Hod-Moyal. They founded iAngels in early 2014, and developed a model for investment of small amounts in startups, based on experienced investors. The company raised several hundred thousand dollars in the past, with the new investment making a total of $2.6 million raised by the company to date.
FINOVATE: Runa Capital has announced its participation in a $20.5M funding round of the American SME-lending platform Lednio. The round included participation by some large VCs, namely, Napier Park Financial Partners and Blumberg Capital. Lendio plans to use the capital to develop its SME-lending product, marketing and to expand its partnership program. According to the company’s representatives, it’s the third venture round for Lendio. The company has raised a total of $31M since 2011. Runa Capital joined the pool of its investors in 2013.
FOREXMAGNATES: Optimal Payments Plc (LSE: OPAY), the group behind the popular NETELLER payment solution, has just revealed it would buy rival Skrill Group (Sentinel Topco Ltd) for a sum of about 1.1 billion euros in order to expand its online services. Skrill is one of the largest online pre-paid cards providers in Europe with its paysafecard brand. Its shareholders include CVC Capital’s Sentinel Group Holdings SA, Investcorp Technology Partners and others. Back in August 2013, CVC acquired a controlling stake in Skrill for €600m from Bahrain-based Investcorp.
TECHCRUNCH: Fundbox, a company that loans businesses money for outstanding invoice payments, has raised $40 million to grow its own business in the trillion-dollar alternative lending market. The Series B round was led by General Catalyst with participation from NyCa Investment Partners and help from existing backers Khosla Ventures, Shlomo Kramer and Blumberg Capital. (more…)
E27.CO: Global online ticketing platform Peatix has raised US$5 million in Series B funding led by DG Incubation, the investment subsidiary of Digital Garage. SPH Media Fund, the corporate venture fund of Singapore Press Holdings and Japanese media company Sunny Side Up also invested in this round. Existing investors from the Series A round Fidelity Growth Partners Japan and Draper Nexus also participated in the round. (more…)
E27.CO: Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata has made an undisclosed amount of investment in mobile payments and commerce company Paytm. With this investment, Tata will pick up a small stake in One97 Communications, the company that owns and operates Paytm. He will also take on the role of an advisor at the company.
TECHCRUNCH: The march of consolidation in the world of e-commerce has claimed its latest victim.Balanced, a payments platform for peer-to-peer marketplace businesses, is closing its doors after failing to grow fast enough, or as co-founder Matin Tamizi describes it, “reach the escape velocity necessary to be a large, innovative, independent player in the payments space.” The company, a Y-Combinator alum, has struck a deal with one of its longtime rivals,Stripe, to act as its transition partner for existing customers.
TECHCRUNCH: Amazon is taking another step into the Internet of Things. TechCrunch has learned, and confirmed, that the e-commerce and cloud services giant has acquired 2lemetry, a startup based out of Denver that has developed an enterprise-focused platform to track and manage IP-enabled machines and other connected devices. (more…)
BLOOMBERG: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to invest in Snapchat Inc., the mobile application for sending disappearing photos, at a valuation of $15 billion, people familiar with the situation said. China’s biggest e-commerce company intends to invest $200 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
TECHCRUNCH: Snapchat, one of the ten most popular instant messengers in the world, has raised $200M from Alibaba Group and Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal at the valuation of $19B. Alibaba’s only weakness against its traditional rival – Chinese Tencent – is the lack of a strong position in the messaging market. With this investment (as well as the investment of $215M in Tango messenger last year) Alibaba is trying to strengthen its position in the market by diversifying assets and insuring itself against the negative effects of the growing popularity of instant messengers as a means for communication, shopping, financial transactions, etc.
TECHINASIA: Cloud-based billing platform ChargeBee has just announced its series B funding round of US$5 million led by Tiger Global. Its existing investor Accel Partners participated in the latest round. ChargeBee provides its clients with an easy plug-and-play interface to accept payments through a choice of 30 gateways, such as Authorize.Net, Braintree, Stripe, PayPal, eWay, Pin Payments, AmazonPayments, and WorldPay.
TECHCRUNCH: PayPal, the payments service with 162 million users preparing to separate from e-commerce giant eBay later this year, is announcing an acquisition today to help build out its mobile business targeting physical merchants, and sharpen its focus in competition with other tech payment hopefuls like Apple and Google. It is buying Paydiant, a startup out of Boston that makes mobile wallet technology. That technology, in turn, powers payment apps for large business like Subway, Harris Teeter supermarkets, Capital One bank, and — perhaps most notably — MCX, a merchant-owned network that is developing a payment app called CurrentC.