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Mobile Payment Startup Money-on-Mobile Raises $29.7M From Calpian

Mobile payment platform Money-on-Mobile, run by Mumbai-based startup My Mobile Payments Ltd, has raised $29.7 million from Texas-based Calpian Inc, a public company dealing in electronic payments processing. It is Calpian's first investment in India.

Money-on-Mobile was launched in 2010 for the Indian B2B market and had received RBI's approval last year to offer the semi-closed m-wallet for the consumer market nationally. The company was founded by Jolly Mathur who is also serving as director (marketing) at World Phone India Ltd. Other promoters include Rajat Sharma and Ranjeet Oak.

MoM claims to have a network of over 55,000 retailer touch points across the country and a presence in more than 200 cities. It is also planning to start domestic remittance services through its mobile channel.

Commenting on the investment, Harold Montgomery, chairman and CEO of Calpian said, "We believe that MoM is well-positioned to take advantage of the promising mobile payment channel in India."

Shashank M. Joshi, managing director of Money-on-Mobile said, "We are delighted to welcome Calpian as a new investor and a strong partner in our efforts to provide mobile payment services to every banked and unbanked mobile subscriber in India. With more than 900 million mobile subscribers in the country, the mobile phone can be used as an effective alternative channel for payments."

As MoM's mobile payment platform can be accessed via SMS, its usage is not limited among the smartphone users. Instead, it has the potential to penetrate the huge untapped segment of basic mobile phone users who can leverage this service. The company aims to cater to the masses by making available mobile payments for mobile recharge, money transfer, DTH recharge and purchase of air/train/bus and movie tickets.

Other players in the mobile payments market include Airtel Money, mChek and the recent entrant PayPal, among others. Till date, it has been a matter of concern why mobile payment has not exactly taken off in India. And quite often, the consumers' mindset has been cited as the key reason. However, the bottom line is – once it takes off, it is bound to revolutionise the way we do everyday transactions.

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