Net1 to invest $40 million in MobiKwik, a leading digital payment platform in India
Net 1 UEPS Technologies today announced that it has signed a subscription agreement with One MobiKwik Systems Private Limited in India. MobiKwik is India’s largest independent mobile payments network, trusted by over 32 million users and 100,000 retailers. MobiKwik’s current shareholders include Sequoia Capital, Tree Line Asia, American Express, Cisco Investments, GMO Payment Gateway and MediaTek, as well as Bipin Preet Singh and Upasana Taku, the founders and executive officers.
As part of the strategic partnership, Net1 will invest $40 million in MobiKwik. In addition, through our technology agreement, Net1’s Virtual Card technology will be integrated across all MobiKwik wallets in order to provide ubiquity across all merchants in India.
“Our strategic investment in MobiKwik provides us with meaningful participation in one of the largest and fastest growing digital payment markets globally,” said Serge Belamant, Chairman and CEO of Net1. “We are excited to partner with one of India’s most utilized and recognized digital platforms, through which we can introduce our products and services. We believe that this investment will accelerate our ability to build scale in India. Over the next three years, MobiKwik has targeted having 150 million users and 500,000 merchants, and the introduction of our various technologies is expected to enhance their value proposition and differentiation to users, online and offline merchants, increase acceptance, and accelerate growth. With Net1’s expertise and track record in facilitating financial inclusion across Africa, our strategic relationship with MobiKwik marks an important milestone from which we can leverage India’s substantial efforts to drive financial inclusion, down to the grassroots in rural and deep rural areas. Many of our solutions, most notably UEPS/EMV, are tailor-made to provide multiple financial and other services, increase accessibility, eliminate fraud and reduce cash,” he concluded.
There are many similarities between South Africa and India including highly regulated markets, limited infrastructure and large unbanked populations. There have always been close ties and there is growing cooperation between the two countries, culminating with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to South Africa last month. This transaction lends further support to their efforts to drive improving bilateral relations in trade and investment.
Upasana Taku, the co-founder of MobiKwik said, “We greatly value our partnership with Net1 and look forward to learning from their best practices in serving the un-banked and under-banked users, while taking progressive steps towards making India a cashless economy. Our pioneering innovations in the fintech industry have helped us maintain this lead position, and with support from strategic partners such as Net1, we look forward to further strengthening our product offering and realize our vision to let users save, borrow, pay and invest using MobiKwik.”
According to a July 2016 Google-BCG study, the size of India’s digital payments industry will reach $500 billion by 2020, representing a ten-fold increase from current levels. The report predicts that more than 50% of India’s internet users are expected to use digital payments by 2020, and the top 100 million users are expected to drive 70% of digital payments by value. The report also predicts that the value of remittances and money transfers that will pass through alternative digital payment instruments will double to 30% by 2020.
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