Ezetap Gets Additional Funding From Amex To Expand Its Mobile Payment Platform Across Emerging Markets

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Ezetap, a Bangalore-based mobile payment startup that uses a rectangular device to turn any mobile phone into a point-of-sales terminal when plugged in, is raising additional funding from American Express. Last month, the startup had raised $8 million in Series B funding led by Helion Advisors, Social+Capital and Berggruen Holdings.

“The investment will allow us to turn on additional value added services such as loyalty and rewards that will delight users and change the entire payment experience for end consumers,” Ezetap co-founder Abhijit Bose said in a statement.

The companies did not disclose the quantum of funding, but added in a statement that “it’s a minority investment” by American Express. The total capital raised by Ezetap to date is around $11.5 million (including $3.5 million it had raised in Series A funding in November 2012).

As we had written last month, Ezetap is riding on growing mobile phone subscriber base in markets like India and Kenya, where more users are becoming comfortable with mobile as their primary device for online transactions.

Ezetap’s device includes a card reader and chip, which costs around $50. The startup has been able to sell around 12,000 of them to date, and is aiming to have over 100,000 such devices installed across Asia-Pacific, Africa and Middle East in a year.

“The payments landscape is changing rapidly and we believe mobile point of sales solutions will play an important role in helping to further enable commerce – especially in small merchant segments that have historically relied on cash – by delivering a smart and convenient way for small businesses to accept consumer payments,” said Sanjay Rishi, President, American Express, South Asia.

Ezetap had officially launched with a Citibank mobile payment pilot in January 2013. Since then, the startup has signed up several banks and newer e-commerce companies, including Flipkart and online grocery retailer BigBasket. In Kenya, Ezetap partnered with Mastercard and Equity Bank to launch its services in March last year. Later in May 2013, Ezetap’s solution received global certification from EMVCo, an organization that specifies processes and gives approval for chip-based payment cards.

Ezetap was incubated in 2011 by Angelprime, a $10 million seed fund backed by Mayfield Fund, Chamath Palihapitiya and several others in the Silicon Valley.