MobiKwik, the mobile payments startup that competes with Paytm in India, is reportedly in talks to raise $100 million to $150 million in venture funding.
According to a report in TechCrunch MobiKwik co-founder Upasana Taku confirmed the new capital would give the payments company a value of more than $1 billion, pushing it into unicorn status. The executive wouldn’t say how many investors it is in talks with but did say it will include an unnamed major strategic investor, as well as several financial institutions. She told TechCrunch she expects the round to close in the next two months. Of the proceeds from the funding round, $45 million is slated to grow the number of users and merchants and to expand its six offices to 20 or more. The report noted Tencent may be among the investors, given that its rival Alibaba has been investing in Paytm and has a stake in Snapdeal. Taku would not say if Tencent is among the investors in MobiKwik, noted the report.
To date, MobiKwik has raised $125 million in venture funding and even with another capital raise and a valuation of more than $1 billon would still be the underdog in the fight with Paytm, which is India’s second-highest-valued technology company that is not public, noted TechCrunch. Paytm has a valuation of $7 billion after raising $1.4 billion from SoftBank and $200 million from Alibaba. Paytm has raised $2.5 billion as India moves to a cashless society after last year’s move to remove high currency denominations out of the system to combat fraud.