A tale of the rise of MobiKwik

  • Mallika Rangaiah
  • Sep 16, 2020
  • Startup Stories
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From fishing out your card to pay for earphones at an electronic store to standing on the counter and scouting for change to pay for milk at the grocery, payment processes can be quite a bit of a bother, isn’t that so? 

 

This is no longer the case with mobile wallets emerging as the new popular trend among the public. Allowing for flawless and convenient payment mediums and eliminating the obligation of searching for change for every small or big item purchased, these wallets have definitely proved to be highly advantageous for their users. Among the e-commerce payment industry, Mobikwik emerges as a noteworthy name, being one of the trailblazers venturing into this field in the Indian nation. 

 

This article will focus on the tale of the origin and rise of this digital payment startup, a platform that had been launched with the primary purpose of enabling easy and effortless payments for Indian users. 

 

About MobiKwik 

 

One of the prominent and biggest mobile wallet platforms in India, MobiKwik enables Indian users to store money in a virtual wallet and then to adopt it across different channels (mobile, desktop, tab, SMS, IVR) to pay for expenses such as utility bills and shop by adopting a wallet with registered merchants.

For instance, it allows users to recharge their mobile via its Android/iOS/BB/Windows App, or to adopt the platform for purposes like purchasing bus tickets from authentic websites. The platform is a prepaid financial instrument that has been approved by the Reserve Bank of India.

 

With India’s payment market being scattered and consisting of a number of banks for the purpose of internet banking, equipped with various varied levels of authentication for debit and credit cards and a pretty complex online payment experience for the user, this gets easier through the MobiKwik Wallet which allows for payment to be made with a simple click on your phone, tablet or desktop, the process operating in uniformity with every platform. 

 

This allows for shopping with any merchant without the need of revealing one’s card or bank details as well as awards the user with various unique discounts and perks each time they adopt the wallet for carrying out their payment. 

 

In 2014, MobiKwik obtained the mBillionth Award South Asia in the m-business and commerce category. 

 

As reported by the Economic Times in an article in end July, MobiKwik claims to have 120 million users, three million merchants, and 300+ billers on its platform.

 

In competition with various Fintech platforms like Paytm, Freecharge, Google Pay as well as PhonePe, the platform has also entered the offline space by enabling mobile payments for traditional stores like Big Bazaar and Domino’s Pizza. When it comes to the wallet aspect, MobiKwik’s main competitor is PayTM, yet unlike PayTM which has recently adopted more of a horizontal approach, MobiKwik’s primary focus lies on its wallet facility. 

 

The company obtained the Prepaid Payment Instrument license from the Reserve Bank of India on 18 July 2013 as well as RBI’s approval for developing a Bharat Bill Payments Operating Unit (BBPOU), allowing users across India, to make their utility and convenience bill payments via the MobiKwik wallet.

 

From being a website equipped merely with a closed wallet facility overtime the platform has expanded its services to cover mobile apps as well. Presently the firm has revolutionized itself into a full-stack fintech organization, allowing its users facilities like bank transfers as well as loans. The firm also has associations with Non-Banking Financial companies like Aditya Birla as well as Bajaj Finance.

 

In the case of loans, the platform facilitates various options such as an instant 3-minute loan or term loan. The firm also has associations with ICICI Lombard for accidental insurance and even facilitates various other insurance products such as online fraud protection, dengue insurance, and so on. 

 

 

MobiKwik Founders

 

MobiKwik was founded by Bipin Preet Singh, its founder and CEO as well as Upasana Taku, the platform’s owner. 

 

Bipin Preet Singh explored diverse fields be it from writing Java codes to working in customer Support and Marketing, Being an IIT Delhi alumni in electrical engineering of the year 2002, he worked at various firms after his graduation, namely Intel, Nvidia and Freescale Semiconductors for around 7 years before he founded MobiKwik. 

 

Upasana Taku was a senior product manager with San Diego’s HSBC as well as Silicon Valley’s PayPal. She is a graduate in Engineering from NIT Jalandhar and also possesses a Masters from Stanford University in Management Science.

 

 

The origin of MobiKwik

 

It all started in 2009 when Bipin Preet Singh, worn out from his corporate job set out on the lookout for a challenge and founded MobiKwik in 2009. He planned to develop an easy payment platform allowing prepaid mobile users to recharge their phones. With recharge being a trivial and small size transaction, he developed a digital wallet enabling users to store their money and recharge anytime they wished.

 

He started the company by investing $250 thousand of his own money as capital, created the website as well as payment choices, renting an office space residing in Dwarka, Delhi. While the platform’s former service had been a website operating with a closed wallet feature, yet overtime, MobiKwik expanded its service to include mobile apps. In 2012, the organization introduced its android app.

 

 

MobiKwik Investors

 

MobiKwik’s funding total so far throughout all its rounds is $149.3M. The platform’s most recent funding took place in late March of this year through a debt financing round. 

 

MobiKwik’s investors include Sequoia Capital India, Tree Line Asia, American Express Ventures, GMO VenturePartner, MediaTek, Net1 UEPS Technologies, Inc, Bajaj Finserv Limited, InnoVen Capital, Cisco Directors Gaurav Manglik & Tianying Fu, NDTV Limited & Trifecta Capital. As confirmed by TechStory, the platform’s latest round values MobiKwik at an estimated $414 million, 31% higher than the fair market valuation it secured in the preceding round.

 

 

Partnership and Tie-ups


The image shows some popular brands MobiKwik has a partnership or tie-ups with

Some popular brands MobiKwik has a partnership or tie-ups with


In March 2015 MobiKwik entered into partnership with Cafe Coffee Day to allow its customers to make payments through the MobiKwik wallet across all its outlets in India. In the month of July of the same year, MobiKwik entered in partnership with Uber India, allowing Uber and its drivers to adopt the MobiKwik platform for processing the debit and credit card payments made to them. 

 

MobiKwik entered into a partnership with IDFC Bank in November 2017 to introduce a co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card for its users.

 

The platform declared a partnership with DT One, the global B2B network for mobile top-ups, rewards and airtime credit in June 2019. This alliance will allow the startup to facilitate mobile recharge in 150+ countries across over 550 mobile operators.

 

A few more of the known brands, MobiKwik has tieups with include BookMyShow, Sagar Ratna, Pizza Hut, TastyKhana, JustEat, PVR, eBay, Jabong, Snapdeal, Shopclues, HomeShop18, Naaptol, Pepperfry, Fashionara, FashionAndYou, MakeMyTrip, as well as Ferns N Petals. 

 

 

Mobikwik’s recent growth

 

As reported by TechCircle, MobiKwik’s gross revenues rose 116% to Rs 184.6 crore for the financial year 2018-19, from Rs 85.6 crore in the previous year.

 

As reported by Times Now, the platform’s co-founder Upasana Taku mentioned how the company planned to launch IPO by 2022. Mobkwik plans for its fintech biz to contribute 40% of revenue by FY22 vs 25% presently. 

 

Recently as mentioned by the Economic Times, MobiKwik has introduced mpay.me, which is a UPI payment link service for sending and receiving money through any UPI payment app. The mpay.me service allows users and merchants to set up a link through their mobile number to start receiving money. This single link created through the service can be shared anywhere for sending and receiving money and will function easily on both mobiles as well as desktop.

 

As of July of this year the platform claimed that its net revenue has surged 134 percent to Rs 379 crore in FY20, displaying the confidence in achieving profitability this fiscal. The platform had clocked net revenue of Rs 162 crore in FY19.

 

As reported by TechStory, the platform’s latest funding was on March 23rd for INR 224 crore in a combination of debt and equity issues from a Cayman Islands-based special purpose vehicle, MK SPV IX LP.

 

Conclusion

 

As the rising trend of mobile wallets shows no signs of subsiding, MobiKwik is all set to pave its way towards a promising future. As we head towards a payment structure increasingly tilting towards virtual platforms, MobiKwik displays a great degree of scope to become a prominent name dominating the e-commerce payment industry. 

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