Mumbai and Silicon Valley-based mobile payments venture JustChalo, run by JustChalo Technologies and JustChalo Inc, has secured undisclosed funding from Ash Bharadwaj and Rakesh Mathur. The venture, which is in the process of creating a US-focused mobile payments app called Chalo, is co-founded by Kashyap Deorah and Rishi Deshpande.
Prior to JustChalo, Deorah was president at Futurebazaar.com, an e-commerce portal of the Future Groups. Earlier, he was CEO of Mumbai-based Phone Commerce, which was acquired by Futurebazaar and got merged with it.
Interestingly, JustChalo is Deorah’s third entrepreneurial venture. He also founded Chaupaatibazaar, a phone commerce firm where consumers can order home appliances, children’s products and magazines over the phone.
In 1999, Deorah co-founded Righthalf.com, one of the first startups of IIT Bombay’s business incubator, where people could express their creative ideas digitally and share those within a community. The student startup was bought by Mountain View-based Stratify in 2001.
Deorah left Futurebazaar last September, according to his LinkedIn account. His move to set up JustChalo was first reported by NextBigWhat and it also added that Future Group chairman Kishore Biyani’s nephew Vivek would be heading Futurebazaar.
JustChalo co-founder Rishi Deshpande, an IIT Bombay alumnus, was part of the founding team at VSee Lab Inc in Mountain View, US. VSee is funded by In-Q-Tel and Salesforce.com. Prior to that, Deshpande worked with Sony PlayStation’s R&D team and was a key member of the team that developed the PlayStation Move controller.
Although the quantum of funding in JustChalo stands undisclosed, both the investors are now co-founders and consequently, each will hold significant stake. Bharadwaj is the former founding CEO of the communications software firm Aricent while Mathur is a serial entrepreneur who sold Junglee to Amazon in 1998 for $240 million.
Mathur, an IIT Bombay alumnus, also served as the founding CEO of Webaroo (SMSGupShup), founding CEO of Stratify (acquired by Iron Mountain in 2007 for $160 million) and founder & CEO of SnapStick Inc (recently acquired by Rovi) and Chrononix Inc besides being the founder director of InfoNam Inc. He is also an advisor to the private equity firm Riverwood Capital.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)