Fin-tech startup Telr raises $3 mn in Series B round
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Dubai-based fin-tech startup Telr, which operates in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and India, has raised $3 million (about Rs 20 crore) in Series B funding from Innovations East fund, a company statement said.

Telr will use the capital to enhance its core products, roll out new payment methods and scale up operations, especially in India and other emerging markets, the statement added. It will also use the funds to offer short-term lending to small businesses.

Owned by Innovate Technologies FZCO, Telr is an aggregator of multiple payment methods, including cards and online banking. It offers unified application program interfaces (a set of tools for building software applications) to enable businesses accept and manage online payments. The startup expects to hit $1 billion in yearly transactions by the end of the year.

Telr was founded by former PayPal executive Sirish Kumar in March 2014. In his most recent assignment before Telr, Kumar was head of finance, ASEAN and India at Paypal. He has also worked with Nokia and Motorola in the past.

“The infusion of funds would help Telr not only strengthen its core offering, but also innovate around payment methods. Furthermore, while we focus on deeper penetration in the UAE, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Indonesia, the funds will facilitate our expansion to other emerging markets,” Kumar said.

In its earlier rounds, Telr had raised funds from investors in Singapore and the Middle East, including Hatcher and iMena Holdings.

Wodehouse Capital advised the startup on the transaction.

In the larger Indian fin-tech landscape, Telr will compete with well-funded players such as Paytm, PayU, CCAvenue and MobiKwik. Earlier this year, e-tailer Infibeam entered into a pact to merge CCAvenue with itself in a deal that is expected to value the payment gateway firm at Rs 2,000 crore ($298 million).

The government’s decision to ban high-value currency notes in November last year led to a cash crunch that hurt all sectors of the nearly $2-trillion economy, but it boosted the usage of e-wallets like MobiKwik and Paytm.

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