Update: In a press release,Tyfone hs said that it has raised money the $5 million in Series B financing from HDFC Holdings and returning investors Ojas Venture Partners, apart from an unnamed strategic manufacturing partner. Over the past 12 months, Tyfone has also added a US patent for “Electronic Transaction Cards” to its portfolio.
August 23rd: Tyfone, a mobile payments company backed by Ojas Venture Partners has raised around $4,963,364 in a fresh round of funding, as per an SEC filing, $500,000 of which are from BSE listed Polaris Software (via VCCircle & SeattlePi). Polaris has taken a 2.5% stake, thus valuing Tyfone at $20 million. Other investors have not been disclosed. In Feb 2008, Tyfone had raised an undisclosed round of funding from Ojas Venture Partners. Ojas is backed by Nadathur S. Raghavan, co-founder and former joint managing director of Infosys Technologies.
As we’d written earlier, what Tyfone is doing is quite interesting: it enables contactless payments on mobile handsets using MicroSD cards, thus making Near Field Communications possible for existing mobile handsets. The problem for NFC across the world is that devices usually need to be embedded with their chip, for contactless payment systems to be processed, and handset manufactures don’t want to take on that additional cost. Apart from this, Tyfone’s platform also supports payments via SMS, applications and WAP, which they’re providing to Oregon, USA based OnPoint Community Credit Union (pdf). By the looks of it, Tyfone appears to be going after the enterprise market for now, but we do think that this has potential has a consumer facing product, in markets where NFC hasn’t yet taken off.
Founded in 2004, Tyfone is headquartered in Portland, USA with AsiaPac headquarters in Bangalore, India. and its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Bangalore, India. The company has manufacturing relationships in Taiwan and component partners in Israel, Germany, and Singapore.