Bangalore-based e-governance services firm Comat Technologies has raised $15 million in third round of funding from Omidyar Network and the Unitus Equity Fund (UEF). This is the first non-microfinance investment for UEF and the first direct investment of Omidyar Network in India. Comat has been deploying information and communication technology (ICT) based G2C (Government to Citizen) and B2C (Business to Consumer) services delivery in rural and semi-urban areas for the last decade.
Comat had divested 10.5% stake to raise $5.5 million from Hughes and Intel Capital in the first round in March 2007. Comat, which operates a network of rural business centres, had late last year raised Rs 25 crore ($6.2 million) from Avigo Capital Partners.
Comat earlier this year won NASSCOM’s innovation in IT awards. The company has started services like online bus ticketing to rural Karnataka through Nemmadi Telecentres. Other services include digitization of all government documents to address the information needs of citizens, which supports various G2G, and G2B functions apart from G2C. Comat also plans to leverage the opportunity in Rural BPO segment through its connectivity and ICT deployments in rural areas.
Comat currently has around current 1,100 Rural Business Centres which it plans to increase to 6,800 by March 2009. It plans to increase its network to 10 Indian states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Sikkim, Karnataka, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
“The infusion of funds from international, like-minded investors provides us singular focus and direction to benefit and transform the lives of rural citizens. The fact that we have already touched one million farmers in the state of Karnataka alone validates that what we have embarked on is not an experiment, but a proven, scalable and transformational business model,” said Sriram Raghavan, CEO, Comat Technologies.
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