Deepak Chandnani, previously President at mobile banking and payment provider Obopay has been promoted to the role of CEO of Obopay; Carol Realini, founder of the company, will assume the role of Executive Chairman at the company. She’ll be based out of Obopay’s corporate office in Redwood City, California, USA, while Chandnani will operate from Mumbai. In a statement, the company says that Obopay’s revenue has doubled over the last year, through growth in business across US, parts of Africa and India.
However, according to a statement released by Obopay investor Elephant Capital late last year, total revenue (of Obopay) ‘for the first nine months to September 2010 was US$3.8m (vs. US$ 293k for the whole of 2009) reflecting strong “Development and customisation fees” of US$3.6m (vs. US$234k for FY09), which is “lumpy” as fee income from professional services engagements is deferred until completion; the net loss was US$22.6m.”
Change In Operating Model With Nokia In India
Chandnani, who was previously CEO of BSE listed Essel group MSO Wire and Wireless India, had joined the company in November 2008, with responsibility for operations in India, Africa and Asia. Under him, Obopay partnered with Union Bank of India, Yes Bank, Societe General, Essar, MasterCard, FIS Global and the STAR network. Obopay also powers the bill payment service for Indian telecom operator BSNL. With Nokia, Obopay’s service is being offered in Pune and Chandigarh, and is ready to launch in Nashik (Maharashtra) and Gurgaon (near Delhi).
But the relationship with Nokia is set to change: according to the statement from Elephant Capital in November 2010, “The roll out of the Obopay service in India has been slower than forecast, and as a result, Obopay has developed a new working relationship with Nokia, which will result in Nokia taking over the “go to market” functions of the service in India; Obopay will provide a managed service which will enable the Nokia offering.”
Nokia itself is expanding its mobile payments rollout in India. Last month, it announced plans to convert Nokia Stores into Banking Correspondents, and tied up with Union Bank of India. As of Feb 2010, Obopay had raised $137 million in five rounds of funding, $70 million of which were raised from Nokia and some existing investors in February 2009.