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Ola acquires mobile payments startup Qarth

qarth1Cab aggregator Ola has acquired Chennai based Qarth Technologies Pvt Ltd, an IIT-Madras incubated mobile payments startup.

As part of the acquisition, the Qarth team led by founders Abhinav Srivastava and Prerit Srivastava would join the Ola Money team.

“With the acquisition of Qarth, we are also making significant technology investments to build forward-looking digital payment solutions for the ecosystem,” said Pallav Singh, senior vice president and head of Ola Money, in a statement.

The two companies did not reveal the size of the deal. Queries sent to Ola and Qarth did not elicit any response till the time of filing this report.

In October last year, ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs Ola, had acquired a majority stake in mobile wallet company ZipCash Card Services Pvt Ltd to strengthen its mobile payments platform.

Ola ventured into the mobile payments space in November last year by launching Ola Money, a dedicated app for its prepaid mobile wallet service Ola Money.

Ola Money allows users to recharge their mobile phones and send money to friends/family as well.

It competes with Paytm, Mobikwik, PayU, Freecharge and other well-funded mobile wallet ventures.

Ola completed its Series F funding round by raising $500 million from Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford and China’s Didi Kuaidi, besides some existing investors.

Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, Japanese internet and telecom conglomerate SoftBank Group, and Russian investment firm DST Global were the existing investors that put money in this round.

Founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola allows users across 102 cities to book from more than 275,000 cabs and 75,000 auto rickshaws on its platform. It aims to enroll one million drivers on its platform in three years. It has more than 100,000 drivers, a number that has grown from 10,000 a year ago.

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