India’s handset brand Micromax, is close to launching its own mobile wallet by through Yu Televentures, by striking a partnership with a payments firm. This will enable it offer consumers a wide range of services on its platform.
Yu Televentures has ventured into the software services with the launch of Around Yu—a suite of services bundled into its new smartphone Yutopia and stated that it is looking to make a strategic investment in a payments company. The deal is expected within a month.
Rahul Sharma, co-founder, Micromax told a section of the media, “All these services will be deeply integrated and stitched with one payments system.” The company has been diversifying its business to include high-margin software, services and creating new revenue streams.
Yu Televentures has been working on its services platform for nearly a year now. In the first phase it offers services in local cabs, flights, hotels, food, shopping and will add up more categories going forward. It expects to launch recharges and healthcare as the next categories.
Sharma added “You will see us investing in more companies and then integrate them in our services platform.”
The company is looking to make at least four to five new investments in startups in healthcare and payments companies in the next 12-15 months to boost its services play. In this direction, Micromax has invested in five start-ups in the last six months. In October it announced a strategic investment in Scandid – a mobile-first product and savings discovery platform. In the same month, it also invested in Gaana, an online music streaming service operated by Times Internet Ltd. Prior to that, it had picked up a stake in MiMedia Inc, a cloud service provider in August; mobile travel search & marketplace ixigo in June, and digital fitness app HealthifyMe in May.
The payments sector in India is witnessing a lot of action as far as fund flows and new wallet launches are concerned. According to a report by business consultancy firm RNCOS dated Dec 2014, in next five years, the m-wallet market size in India will be at $1.8 Bn growing at a CAGR of 30%.
Besides established players such as Paytm and Snapdeal+Freecharge’s Freecharge Wallet, Mobikwik, Citrus, PayU, there are many others which are launching their own wallets. Last month, State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender announced that it is about to launch mobile wallet ‘Batua’ next month. Similarly, Bangalore-based startup, Novopay also announced in September that it is launching a mobile wallet. In February, ICICI bank launched Pockets, a mobile wallet app for Android. Apparently, Flipkart has also entered the arena with acquisition of FXMart, a mobile payment company.
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