Though Paytm may have benefitted the most from the country’s aggressive push towards a cashless and digital economy, its arch-rivals aren’t far behind. They’re instead looking to bank on this opportunity, when Paytm, the leading digital wallet provider, has diverted focus towards several new categories. One such competitor, who ranks at number two in India, is called MobiKwik and is now adding fresh capital to its coffers to keep their battle for the top position alive.
This development was first reported by TechCrunch and has been confirmed by the company’s co-founder Upasana Taku. She says that MobiKwik has garnered interest from several financial institutions and plans to secure somewhere between $100 million-$150 million at an astounding valuation of more than $1 billion. This fundraising round is significant for the company as it will see them become one of the few Indian businesses to attain the unicorn status.
There is currently no info on the investors who’re backing Paytm’s arch-nemesis as Taku has decided to keep mum on naming any of them. She only adds that one of them could take the form of a prominent strategic investor, with participation from a number of other financial institutions.
This will be a notable milestone for MobiKwik as it will not only close its largest fundraising round to date but the same will be at a humongous valuation of over $1 billion. Until date, the company has managed to secure around $125 million in six odd fundraising rounds, with the latest one being a $40 million capital infusion by South Africa-based Net1 back in August last year.
MobiKwik is planning to invest a chunk (around $45 million) of the capital infused to grow its user, as well as merchant user base. This will also enable the company to expand its geographical reach, growing its current physical presence from six offices to more than twenty in the coming months.
While it will not exactly place the company next to Paytm, who just recently raised a monstrous $1.4 billion from SoftBank along with additional investments from its primary backer — Alibaba. This values the company at around $8 billion. MobiKwik’s latest fundraising round will give them a definite push to execute their newest strategies, which involves shifting focus away from being purely a mobile digital wallet to payment gateways as well.
As for the company’s latest statistics, Taku said that MobiKwik also rode the demonetization wave and doled them all the numbers. The registered user base jumped from 25 million to 55 million, whereas the merchant user base saw multifold increase, going from 250,000 to more than 1.5 million in the last six odd months. It is now targeting the ambitious goal of around 100 million users and 10 million merchants by the end of next year.