India’s MobiKwik raises $50M for its mobile wallet service

By Jon Russel for

The increase of smartphone ownership in India is fueling the rise of mobile wallets in the country. One company leading the charge, MobiKwik, has topped up its own funds with a $50 million Series C round announced today.

Primarily a mobile wallet, MobiKwik’s range of services include online recharge (topping up mobile phone credit), bill payments, money transfers, coupons and ticketing. The startup claims to have over 30 million users and support for more than 75,000 retailers.

The funding was led by two interesting strategic investors: GMO, a publicly listed Japanese internet company involved in payments among other things, and semiconductor firm Mediatek. Existing investors including Sequoia and Treeline Asia also took part in the round, which takes MobiKwik to more than $80 million in moneyraised to date.

Last week, Alibaba’s Ant Financial raised a colossal $4.5 billion in funding. An affiliate of Alibaba that manages Alipay and other financial services, Ant Financial revealed that Paytm — a rival to MobiKwik in India which both Alibaba and Ant Financial have invested in — had 122 million users at the start of the year when it was processing 52 million transactions a month. MobiKwik didn’t reveal its transaction volume but it did say that its GMV — the total amount of cash passing through its services — has grown 250 percent every year since 2012. One other stat from the startup: it said “most” users make 10-12 transactions via its service each month.

MobiKwik plans to spend its new cash to develop its services, increase its staff and ramp up its marketing efforts. The company is aiming to reach 150 million users, annual GMV of $5 billion and 500,000 retailers in the future — although those lofty goals will take some time to hit.

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