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Ebix Bullish On ItzCash Growth; Makes Second Indian Acquisition With YouFirst Money Express

Ebix Bullish On ItzCash Growth; Makes Second Indian Acquisition With YouFirst Money Express

The Acquisition Comes Three Months After Ebix Poured $123 Mn In Payments Solution Firm ItzCash To Gain Majority Stake

Less than three months after pouring $123 Mn in payments solution firm ItzCash, US-based Ebix has acquired the Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) business of YouFirst Money Express for an undisclosed amount. The current acquisition was funded using Ebix’s internal cash reserves.This marks Ebix’s second Indian acquisition in the last five days.

This marks Ebix’s second Indian acquisition in the last five days.

On August 17, the on-demand software and ecommerce services supplier took over the MTSS assets of Uttar Pradesh-based Wall Street Finance Ltd for $7.4 Mn.

Commenting on the development, Ebix Chairman, President, and CEO Robin Raina stated, “Following up on the Wall Street Finance’s MTSS assets acquisition announcement a few days back, the acquisition of YouFirst is a significant announcement in our efforts to expand our presence in the Financial Exchange markets in India.  It will not only help expand our reach but also help nurture cross-selling and increase revenue opportunities for our distribution outlets. We expect that the consolidation of YouFirst and Wall Street assets into our existing financial exchange infrastructure will enhance our operating margins substantially, in the financial exchange segment in India.”

A wholly-owned subsidiary of YouFirst Ventures, YouFirst Money Express specialises in international inward remittance under the RBI-granted MTSS license as well as foreign exchange under the RBI’s FFMC license. It currently handles nearly 15% of Western Union’s inward remittance flows in India.

Boasting a network of 36 MTSS branches, the company has over 10,000 sub-agents in different parts of the country. At present, the firm processes 2.3 Mn transactions worth more than $800 Mn every year.

In an official statement, an Ebix spokesperson said, “The acquisition of YouFirst and Wall Street MTSS’ inward remittance assets gives Ebix approximately 25% of the inward international remittance market in India. Ebix intends to consolidate both these acquisitions into its financial exchange operations bringing significant synergies and reducing redundancies to the combined operation.”

According to Raina, the acquisitions will help increase ItzCash’s financial exchange reach from the current 75,000+ retail outlets to over 94,000 brick-and-mortar outlets around the country. In addition to handling a domestic remittance volume of more than $100 Mn per month, the Mumbai-headquartered ItzCash claims to process a total of 600K transactions in prepaid cards and bill payments each day. This amounts to a payment volume of $2 Bn annually.

A Look At The Ebix ItzCash Partnership

With 40 offices spread across Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the US, India and the UK, Ebix provides end-to-end software and ecommerce solutions to clients in different verticals, including insurance, finance, healthcare and e-governance. It assists companies in building infrastructure exchanges, front- and back-end enterprise frameworks and risk compliance systems.

Ebix also offers SaaS-based software development solutions, support and consultancy to clients on six continents. As claimed by its spokesperson, the company has conducted in excess of $100 Bn in insurance premiums annually on its platforms.

In May 2017, Ebix invested $123 Mn (INR 800 Cr) in ItzCash against 80% stake in the company. The funding, which was done at a valuation of $150 Mn, allowed Ebix to assume majority shareholder status in ItzCash. As part of the deal, existing investors Matrix Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Intel Capital exited for returns between 3X-5X.

At the time, it was reported that Ebix was looking to foray into areas such as credit, insurance, healthcare and investments to accelerate growth momentum. Having reportedly deployed 25,000 point-of-sale machines in the last few months, the company now intends to deploy 100,000 POS machines by the end of 2017.

The firm is also looking to expand ItzCash’s operations to markets like Australia and Brazil where Ebix already has a strong distribution network. Ebix is also in the process of extending the reach of its health content exchanges in India. Through Ebix Telemedicine, the company will offer insurance carriers and brokers a gateway to its vast network and cross-selling opportunities to sell each other’s complementary services to existing clients of the two companies.

The latest YouFirst acquisition is geared towards facilitating ItzCash’s growth, which would, in turn, help Ebix bolster its presence in the Indian payments space.