BCCL, Cisco join MobiKwik’s Series C round
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One MobiKwik Systems Pvt. Ltd has received about Rs 6 crore (about $930,000) from existing investor Cisco Investments India Pvt. Ltd and Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) as part of its $50-million Series C round.

Cisco invested Rs 4 crore in the mobile wallet operator, according to a 9 January filing with the Registrar of Companies. A separate RoC document showed that BCCL put in Rs 1.95 crore in the company by subscribing to equity shares and warrants.

MobiKwik said it will use the proceeds for product innovation, team expansion and increasing its user base.

BCCL typically invests through its ad-for-equity investment arm Brand Capital, which is sector agnostic, and largely targets firms with a consumer-facing product or service that requires advertising. BCCL uses the ad space across its various media properties such as The Economic Times and The Times of India as currency to pick up stakes in small, medium as well as a few large companies.

MobiKwik had, in May 2016, said it would raise $50 million in a Series C round. Subsequently, the company raised $7.12 million from GMO Venture Partners Inc, Taiwanese semiconductor company MediaTek and its existing investors Sequoia Capital and Tree Line Asia. Three months later, NASDAQ-listed South African payment solutions company Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc announced an investment of $40 million in MobiKwik.

Earlier, MobiKwik had raised $25 million in its Series B round of funding in April 2015, led by Tree Line Asia. Cisco Investments, American Express and Sequoia Capital had also participated in the round, where Cisco put in Rs 19 crore.

The mobile wallet had raised about $5 million from an unnamed VC firm in a Series A round. It is, however, believed that the firm was Sequoia.

MobiKwik trails market leader Paytm in India's mobile wallet segment. In February, MobiKwik announced plans to invest Rs 300 crore on acquiring merchants and users, as it looked to increase its share in the highly competitive payments market. Nearly Rs 50 crore was invested to set up 13 offices and hire over 1,000 employees.

MobiKwik, which claims to have 45 million-plus users on its platform and a network of more than 10 lakh direct merchants, wants to end the year with 150 million users and five million merchants.

Eyeing unicorn status

MobiKwik, which has so far not disclosed the valuation at which it raised its Series C round, had previously said that it aimed to close its next round of funding at a valuation of $1 billion.

The potential fundraising could make MobiKwik India’s newest ‘unicorn’, following in the footsteps of homegrown startups such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Ola and Hike.

Founded in 2009 by husband-and-wife duo Bipin Preet Singh and Upasana Taku, MobiKwik enables prepaid mobile, DTH and data card recharges, as well as payments of post-paid mobile and utility bills. It also offers these services via SMS, phone and apps that are available on Android, iOS and Windows platforms.

MobiKwik competes with the likes of Paytm, Freecharge, Pay U, Mymobile, Oxigen Wallet and Udio in the mobile wallet segment.

The company is aiming to clock $10 billion in gross transaction value by the year-end and is looking to break even by mid-2018.

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