Ebix commits $100 mn for ItzCash’s fin-tech push

US-based software firm Ebix Inc, which recently entered India's digital payments market with a majority stake purchase in ItzCash Card Ltd, has set aside $100 million (Rs 643 crore) for investments and acquisitions in the country.

"Ebix has set up an aggressive growth path both in terms of revenues and operating income. We are accordingly committing a $100-million fund and will not shy away from scaling this investment upwards sizeably," Robin Raina, chairman and CEO, Ebix, said in a statement.

Through ItzCash, where it bought 80% stake for $120 million, Ebix aims to carry out a number of strategic acquisitions in the fin-tech space, Bhavik Vasa, chief growth officer, ItzCash, told VCCircle.

"We are already in mature discussions with a few peers and counterparts, mostly in the lending, international remittance, and travel sectors. We hope to close some deals in the coming quarters," he added.

When asked whether the company will also look at the mobile wallet space, Vasa said, "[Online] lending as a segment is still evolving. But in the payment solutions and wallet space there are many mature players. We are absolutely looking at them, as it allows us to consolidate the market."

Vasa further said the company had made inroads in all these segments. In insurance, for example, it has tied up with two life insurance and two health and general insurance providers. On the credit and lending side, ItzCash is already running a few pilots with some non-banking financial companies and new-age lending platforms.

Apart from mergers and acquisitions in the fin-tech space, ItzCash is also keen on investments in early-stage fin-tech startups. "We are aggressively looking at startups in lending, digital identification, analytics and machine learning across the fintech domain," Vasa said.

"We are talking to a few startups. Besides money, these startups would also get access to the distribution, network and reach that ItzCash has," he added.

ItzCash—which claims to be the largest player in travel, controlling 12% market share on Indian Railways subsidiary IRCTC—is looking to build the travel category further. It will expand to flight and hotel-booking segments, too.

"A lot more inorganic investments will go towards the travel segment," Vasa said.

Ebix has also made investments in the healthcare and ed-tech space in India. Vasa said ItzCash will look at making more investments in the two segments for the parent firm.

Earlier this week, VCCircle reported that ItzCash's former managing director Naveen Surya was planning to start his own venture.

VCCircle had reported last month that ItzCash was looking at inorganic opportunities to grow its business.

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