Mumbai-based online payments company Citrus Payments Solutions Pvt Ltd has secured an undisclosed amount in funding from econtext Asia Ltd, a Japanese online payments firm, and Beenos Asia Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Japanese e-commerce and incubation company Netprice, with participation from existing investor Sequoia Capital.
Although the details of the funding have not been disclosed, various media reports have pegged the amount at $5.5 million (Rs 34 crore). The capital will be used for bringing in innovations in mobile payment solutions and also to increase its footprint in the international markets.
“Our focus is to create fresh, intelligent, simple and trustworthy payment solutions. We plan to use this fund as a launch pad to accelerate the Asian digital payments revolution. Our roadmap includes several innovative solutions especially in the mobile space,” said Satyen Kothari, chairman, Citrus.
Citrus was set up in 2011 by Kothari, along with Jitendra Gupta. Kothari has earlier started companies in the areas of marketing automation, social e-commerce, and strategy/design consulting. He also worked with Intuit, First Data, Cisco, AOL, Yahoo and Apple. His partner worked with ICICI Bank in various roles prior to co-founding Citrus.
Currently, Citrus offers payment processing solutions that include net banking, cards, EMI, COD and rules engines), enterprise payment SaaS solutions (success rate optimisation, multi-platform payments, analytics) and consumer payment services (online/mobile e-wallet and P2P payments).
Additionally, it provides mobile ecommerce solutions. The company claims that it has more than 1,000 customers, including Indigo Airlines, Airtel, Sun Direct, Shine, Reliance Entertainment, Abhi Bus, Zivame, EasyCabs, Delhi Metro, Delhi Jal Board, DDA, and Healthkart. In June last year, the company had raised $2 million from Sequoia Capital.
“The team at Citrus has worked hard since launch and gone from 278 transactions in the first month in January 2012, to handling over 1.5 million transactions today,” said Gupta, who is also CEO of Citrus.
The online payments space has seen a lot of action of late. Late last month, ICICI Venture, the alternative asset management arm of ICICI Bank, invested $22.4 million in Bangalore-based payment gateway services provider BTI Payments Pvt Ltd in return for a significant stake. In the same week, Japanese multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate Hitachi acquired Chennai-based payment solutions firm Prizm Payment Services Pvt Ltd.
A few days before these two developments, Mumbai-based Spunk Media Pvt Ltd, which runs the online mobile billing aggregator Qubecell, was acquired by San Fransisco-based mobile payments company Boku. In June this year, US-based online restaurant reservations firm OpenTable Inc acquired Mumbai and Silicon Valley-based mobile payments startup JustChalo Technologies for around $11 million.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)