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Amazon Pay acquires the Tapzo app: report

In a bid to strengthen its payments offerings in the country, Amazon Pay has acquired ‘all-in-one app’ Tapzo, reports the Economic Times. Amazon reportedly paid $30-45 million in a cash-and-stock deal for the startup that aggregates around 40 apps into a single app. Tapzo’s cofounders Ankur Singla and Vishal Pal Chaudhary will join Amazon Pay following the acquisition, according to the report.

MediaNama reached out to both the companies for a comment. While Tapzo didn’t respond to an emailed query, an Amazon spokesperson said, Our commitment to the vision of a less-cash India remains the same. Our goal is to make it easier than ever before for customers to make digital payments by improving the customer experience, affordability and daily routines.”

Founded in 2010 as Akosha, which was renamed to Helpchat, and then rebranded as Tapzo. It claims to have made over 25 million transaction since its inception, with over 5 million users across 100 cities in the country. The Sequoia backed application enables services such as Uber, Ola, Swiggy and Zomato, Book My Show, MobiKwik, Cleartrip etc. in a single app without having to download or update them individually.

The company had secured a funding of Rs 12.32 crore from its existing investors in January this year. Prior to that, it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Singapore-based RB Investments in February last year. In 2015, Sequoia Capital India had led a $16-million Series B round in the company.

Amazon’s payments strategy

While it isn’t clear on how the e-commerce giant will use or integrate Tapzo, ET reports that it would eventually merge the newly acquired service into Amazon Pay. Initially however, it may seek to leverage Tapzo’s customer base by incentivizing the use of Amazon pay option in all the former’s services.

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Coincidentally or otherwise, the development comes immediately after Amazon India launched a bill payment service in the country. This service allows users to pay electricity, landline, broadband, gas and postpaid bills across 100 utility providers in the country.

Amazon will hope that these efforts will help the company to ward off competition against the likes of Paytm, Google Tez, Flipkart backed PhonePe and others. This week, Paytm, the country’s largest digital payment company secured an undisclosed investment from Berkshire Hathaway, while Google announced that it would rebrand its UPI payment app Tez to Google Pay, bundled with additional features.

Amazon India’s payment story

Amazon Pay was launched in December 2016 as a rebranded version of its Gift Card balance feature which allowed users to top up and generate an online gift voucher. In April last year, Amazon India received a wallet license from the RBI, which enabled it to do away with the two-factor authentication system for Amazon Pay.

Earlier this year, the company added a UPI based payments option for customers who are making purchases on the website. Amazon India head Amit Agarwal said that Amazon Pay would be integrated with UPI, however, he did not mention specific timelines. Reports claimed that the e-commerce company had even roped in Axis Bank to start issuing UPI handles to users of Amazon Pay.

In regards to funding, Amazon pumped in Rs 230 crore in Amazon Pay last month. Before that, the company made an investment of Rs 195 crore into its payments arm in March. Last year, the payments entity received a funding of Rs 260 crore in October and Rs 130 crore in July. The Seattle based company also infused Rs 67 crore in May last year.

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