Mobile Payment Apps In India Multiply With New Funding For Chillr
A Mumbai-based mobile money transfer and payment app known as a “Whatsapp for money,” has raised $6 million from Sequoia Capital in a Series A investment. Additional investors are expected to join in the next few weeks in the funding for Hi Backwater Technologies, which operates Chillr.
Chillr was incubated in MobME Wireless Solutions, from whom it was seeded $1 million, before being spun off as a separate entity in December 2014. MobME is headquartered in Kochi and has incubated multiple fintech products.
Chillr’s mission is to make India less dependent on cash. It does this by working with such leading banks as Bank of Baroda and HDFC Bank to offer a seamless experience to customers. Using Chillr, individuals can send money instantly to anyone in their phone book, without knowing the recipient’s account details. The app is linked to the customer’s bank account and directly transfers the money. In addition to P2P transfers, Chillr supports mobile recharges, utility bill payments and payments at online and offline stores.
The new funds are earmarked for customer and merchant acquisition, technology, and team expansion from 70 to 120 staffers by the end of this year. The startup claims to have reached 350,000 downloads to date, with more than 5000 daily transactions worth the equivalent of $70,000. Chillr’s goal is to reach 10,000 daily transactions by the end of 2015, as well as 30,000 merchant partners by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
Chillr is the latest among a number of mobile payment startups that have attracted investments this year. Others include LivQuik (owner of QuikWallet) and Momoe. Paytm (previously spotlighted by Silicon Dragon), launched its P2P money transfer service in July. With smartphone penetration in India expected to grow from today’s 17% to 32% by 2017, the future of payments lies in mobile solutions.