(by NT Balanarayan & Brindaalakshmi K)
Bangalore-based mobile point of sale (PoS) payments startup Ezetap has acquired the Hyderabad-based loyalty platform Clinknow which enables merchants create and offer real-time offers to their customers based on their transaction history.
While the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, Ezetap informs that this acquisition will enable them to offer an integrated payments and loyalty solution for merchants across India. Post acquisition, Clinknow co-founder & CEO Abhishek Nayak and the Clinknow team will join Ezetap.
Ezetap CEO Abhijit Bose claims that the integrated solution will be able to recognize a repeat customer during check-out and apply the best active offer. This is expected to help small and medium merchants who cannot afford to setup their own loyalty programs. It’s worth noting that Ezetap had previously raised a strategic investment from American Express in March this year. Bose had then mentioned that the investment will allow them to enable additional value added services like loyalty points and rewards for consumers.
Clinknow was started by Gharpay Technologies Services which was founded by Abhishek Nayak and Arpit Mohan in 2011. It also operated an offline cash collection network which apparently had more than 800 clients, and was later acquired by logistics company Delhivery in June last year.
Clinknow analyzes anonymous transaction data and builds predictive models to target consumers based on their past purchases, propensity to buy, location and lifetime value among others. It also allows card issuers to create and present offers to their card holders when they transact with Ezetap merchants based on their profile and transaction history. The company had a tie-up with RBL Bank.
AngelPrime-incubated Ezetap on the other hand, 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.
The company had raised $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 in February this year. It had also raised $3.5 million in series A funding from Peter Thiel, Chamath Palihapitiya, Nicolas Berggruen and David Sacks in November 2011.
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.