Ezetap, a company that provides POS solution and incubated at AngelPrime, has raised $3.5 million in series A funding from Peter Thiel, Chamath Palihapitiya, Nicolas Berggruen and David Sacks. Chamath Palihapitiya’s The Social+Capital Partnership led the funding round while others co-invested in the series A funding. Individual investment by each investor has not been disclosed. It’s also not clear as to how the company will make use of the funds raised. Apart from that, Chamath Palihapitiya’s The social+capital partnership has also invested in the AngelPrime incubator.
Although the financial details of the deal have not been disclosed yet, the investment will be used to finance the startup companies that AngelPrime will incubate and seed during the next 3 years. Mayfield Fund, a California based global venture capital firm, had also recently announced that it would be backing AngelPrime, which was founded by Bala Parthasarathy, Shripati Acharya and Sanjay Swamy in 2011.
The investment in Ezetap is rather interesting since it comes from Peter Thiel who co-founded PayPal, an e-commerce website to send and receive payment electronically. Chamath Palihapitiya is a founder of The Social+Capital Partnership and earlier worked on Facebook’s online advertising channel. Nicolas Berggruen is a PE investor and David Sacks is a founder of Yammer. Sacks also previously worked at PayPal as COO.
The company had recently launched a mobile PoS (Point of sale) solution that allows feature phones, smartphones and tablets to be converted into Point of Sale terminals, by adding a compact accessory, the Ezetap Card-Reader. What’s interesting is that the company claims that product has been designed and manufactured in India. According to the company, the service can work with feature phones such as Nokia S40, as well as Android, Windows Mobile and Apple iOS platforms, and has already been piloted by leading merchants.
Ezetap is co-founded by former Oracle and NGPAY executive, Abhijit Bose who is the CEO and Bhaktha Kesavachar, CTO; AngelPrime’s Managing Partner, Sanjay Swamy is the Chairman. The company is incubated by AngelPrime.
Other players: As mobile payment is deemed as the future of payment in India, we have seen numerous developments in the mobile POS solutions. iKaaz, a Bangalore-based mobile payments solution provider, founded by ex-Nokia Money team, launchedtwo new mobile payment platforms for enterprises and consumers — iKaaz Consumer Wallet for Enterprise and iKaaz mPOS.
Airtel also offers a semi-closed mobile wallet service which allows Airtel customers to pay utility bills, recharge their phones, shop at merchant outlets and make online transactions using their mobile phones. It also allows users to make instant money transfers between one Airtel money wallet to another and to bank accounts across the country. Airtel claims that Airtel money is India’s first mobile based service to offer such instant money transfers.
Airtel also has a Banking Correspondent tie-up with Axis Bank and offers a low-frills account called Airtel Money Super Account powered by Axis Bank, which supports cash withdrawals in all the regions (namely Mumbai, Delhi, East UP and Bihar) where it’s been launched.
Other players in the prepaid wallet segment include My Mobile Payments, which had launched a semi-closed m-wallet in November 2011, Loop Mobile which partnered with ZipCash to offer a mobile payments service, and Nokia Money, which had shut down earlier this year, but has been acquired by mobile financial services firm FINO.