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Ezetap secures funding from American Express for loyalty & reward services

Ezetap

Bangalore based mobile point of sale (PoS) payments startup Ezetap has raised an undisclosed amount of investment from American Express in return for a minority stake in the company, reports The Economic Times.

This seems to be a strategic investment for Ezetap. Co-founder Abhijit Bose says this will allow them to enable additional value added services like loyalty points and rewards for consumers. Sanjay Swamy, Managing partner of AngelPrime (which incubated Ezetap) says this investment will also allow Ezetap to expand to other geographies.

Last month, Ezetap had secured $8 million investment in Series B funding led by Helion Advisors with participation from existing investors Chamath Palihapitiya’s The Social+Capital Partnership and Berggruen Holdings. The company had then stated plans of using the investment to strengthen its presence in Asia & Africa and deploying 100,000 PoS devices over the next year. It has currently deployed 12,000 PoS devices across South East Asia and Africa.

The company has raised a total $11.5 million until now, including the $3.5 million investment from The Social+Capital Partnership, Peter Thiel, Nicolas Berggruen & David Sacks in November 2012.

It’s worth noting that American Express’s investment arm American Express Ventures had also invested $4.5 million in the Bangalore-based customer engagement company Capillary Technologies last month.

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Citibank Tie-up: In January last year, Ezetap had partnered with Citibank to launch a mobile payment solution for merchants targeting credit and debit card holders in India. It had also partnered Kenya’s largest bank Equity Bank and MasterCard to expand operations to Kenya in March 2013.

Ezetap is currently one among several Square-like mobile PoS solution providers in India. The solution comprises a card reader, mobile app and a platform that allows Ezetap to provide customized value-added services and integrate with a merchant’s existing systems.

Through this solution, merchants can convert their mobile phones into point of sale terminals by plugging in an Ezetap card reader. It says the card reader can connect to a mobile device via Bluetooth, USB, or Audio and supports feature phones, smartphones and tablets. Its customers include Myntra, BookMyShow, Olacabs, redBus, BigBasket and Reliance Mutual Fund among others.

Other players in the space include Mswipe which had recently raised undisclosed amount of Series B funding from Matrix Partners, Axis Bank and DSG Consumer Partners, One97 Mobility fund backed MobiSwipePaymateiKaaz and Eashmart.

Telco MTS had launched its own mobile point of sale device MTS mPOS in June 2012, while Yes Bank had introduced its mobile PoS solution in December 2012 and Mahindra Comviva had launched its mPOS solution payPLUS in June last year.

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