December 9, 2013
In a recent development in the payment industry, Mobile payment solution firm Citrus Solutions has raised USD 5.5 Mn as series B funding from two Japanese investors: Econtext Asia and Beenos Asia. Besides, the deal has also seen the participation of the current VC backer of Citrus, Sequoia Capital. Econtext Asia is an online payment company while Beenos Asia is a subsidiary of Netprice, which is a major e-commerce player in Japan.
Citrus Payments is a digital payment company focusing on online checkout processes, and aims to be a fast, convenient, safe, portable and reusable single stop payment solutions provider in India. Incorporated in August 2011, the company’s full month transaction clocked 278 transactions in only about a year of time. By November 2012, the company was processing more than 100,000 transactions per month! In July 2103, the company got RBI license for stored value payments using proprietary IP. Currently, the company processes more than 2 million transactions per month.
This investment is yet another example of the growing attractiveness of the domestic payment industry for the global technology giants. It is the latest investment to be announced in India’s payment industry, which has seen significant interest from global payment firms since the last year. Such a disruption was on cards for the Indian payment Industry, as the existing money systems are inefficient and breakthroughs were due for a long time.
The payments space globally is buzzing with startups as well as incumbents innovating at a fast pace. This is yet another investment being made in the payments sector. More than 3,500 million dollars investments have been made in payment firms by VCs & Strategic Investors. Accel Partners funded Circle, Card Spring, Gumroad, Clinkle, and Lenddo. Kleiner Perkins Caufield invested in Square and Shopkick, and Sequoia Capital in Stripe, Square, Citrus Pay and Prizm Payment. Even Andreessen Horowitz is enthusiastic about the sector with investments in Jumio and Belly.
An interesting trend coming up in last few months is that more and more Japanese firms have started showing interest in the technology companies of India. In a recent development, a delegation of Japan Electronics & Information Technology Industries Association came to India to explore suitable business opportunities existing in the country. Many Japanese companies like Suzuki, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Sony, Mitsubishi and Yamaha have invested in India over last few years, and most of these ventures have been successful. Recently, Hitachi got the foothold in India’s payment space by acquiring Bangalore based peer to peer card based payment technology company Prizm Payment services. Now, the investment in Citrus by e-commerce firm and online payment company from Japan is yet another example of growing interest of Japanese firms in Indian technology companies.
Citrus was founded in 2011 by a group of software, UX, and finance professionals who wanted to bring in true simplification & innovation in the world of payments. The company got $ 5.5 mn series B fund from Sequoia Capital India recently. The company aims to be a fast, convenient, safe, portable and reusable single stop payment solutions provider in India.
About econtext Asia:
econtext Asia Limited is a leading provider of online payment services and e-commerce solutions in Japan, acting as an intermediary between online merchants and financial institutions or convenience store chains. The company has been providing secure online payment services for more than 15 years.
About Beenos Asia:
Beenos Asia, a subsidiary of Netprice, is a company focusing on engineering, design, data science, and business management. They help IT companies launch and expand their current IT businesses. The company has a diverse portfolio of firms based across globe, while majority of them are in Japan, United States, Turkey, Indonesia, and Singapore.