Singapore-based taxi hailing company Grab has acquired Bangalore-based payments startup iKaaz for an undisclosed amount. With this development, Grab will integrate iKaaz’ mobile payments platform to Grab’s payments platform GrabPay.
Grabpay allows Grab taxi riders to pay at other merchants (with vredits/points) as well. Grab claims that the payment platform facilitates about 3.5 million transactions daily and a billion transactions per year.
iKaaz’ platform offers payment solutions for challenging internet conditions. It offers payments like NFC, QR-code, audio-based payments as well as bill payments, online payments and P2P with offline feature or feature to work with weak mobile internet. Grab said that the integration will help the company to tap Southeast Asia’s diverse payments landscape and large unbanked population.
The taxi-hailing company added that it is expanding across all markets in Southeast Asia in 2018. It currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Also, the ikaaz team will also join Grab’s R&D centre in Bangalore, which is one of the six globally and serves as a centre of excellence for payments to the company. The facility which was opened in March 2017, currently has a headcount of 75 engineers. Grab plans to hire 200 engineers in total by end of 2018. It is not clear how big is ikaaz’s team.
The taxi company had secured $2 billion funding from its existing investors Didi Chuxing, and SoftBank in July 2017. At the time of the company had said that it will continue to strengthen its and invest in GrabPay.
On Grab’s lines, cab aggregator Ola has Ola Money, which was started as a closed system payment instrument in 2014 and tied up with ZipCash in August 2015 to offer the wallet service to other companies as well. After that it launched it as a separate Android app for Ola Money, which could do mobile recharges, money transfers and be used on other platforms.