Deals: Indian digital payments company TranServ gets $15M to launch new financial products

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TranServ, one of several companies digitizing payments in India, said today that it has secured a Series C of $15 million to develop new financial products. The round was led by IDFC Spice Fund and Micromax Informatics. Returning investors Nirvana and Faering Capital India also participated.

Micromax, one of India’s largest smartphone makers by market share, is also one of the startup’s strategic partners. The two companies recently signed a deal with Visa to offer mobile payment services, including NFC-based contactless payments on Micromax devices.

TranServ claims a total of 10 million users. It processes about $15 million per month through its APIs, which let merchants integrate payment tools into their own software, with clients including BookMyShow, PayU, Ixigo, and Askmebazaar.

The company plans to launch new products, including micro-loan services, new non-payment features for its API stack, and online meal vouchers for companies that still issue paper coupons to their employees. It will also continue developing its mobile wallet appUdio.

TranServ co-founder and CEO Anish Williams says that Udio, which lets users split bills and send money to one another, was one of the first peer-to-peer transaction apps in India. It can also be linked to a prepaid debit card that is accepted by about one million offline merchants.

Several factors are fueling demand for digital payments in India, including the rapid growth of its e-commerce industry and the increasing accessibility of smartphones. The country’s credit card penetration rate is still very low, however, which means companies need to help consumers find alternative ways of making online payments.

Startups that have stepped into the breach by providing tools like mobile wallets that can be linked to bank accounts or topped up at brick-and-mortar stores include Mobikwik and Paytm.

TranServ co-founder and CEO Anish Williams hopes his company’s competitive strategy of rolling out new features and products to attract customers, and charging for premium services, will let the startup “maintain financial discipline” by avoiding expensive promotional tools like discounts and cashback deals.

First appeared at WSJ Venture Capital