Excl: Payments technology startup LivQuik raises funds from Snow Leopard Technology Ventures
LivQuik Technology (India) Pvt Ltd, a Mumbai-based payments technology startup, has raised an undisclosed amount from Snow Leopard Technology Ventures, a venture fund that provides seed capital to the internet and technology businesses in India. The funds will be used to expand the engineering, operations and marketing teams of the company.
The startup is also in the process of launching QuikWallet, a mobile wallet that will enable customers to pay at retail outlets and restaurants directly from their smartphones.
"We built the product because there was a clear gap in the Indian market. While there are many mobile wallets as such, there is no mobile app or service similar to QuikWallet. We've made it seamless for users and painless for merchants," said Mohit Lalvani, co-founder and CEO of LivQuik.
The company was co-founded by Lalvani, Yudhajit Nag Sen (CTO), Vinay Pinto (vice-president â€“ technology), and Suma Bhattacharya (advisor) in April 2012. Lalvani earlier worked at companies such as Kabuza Marketing, Viacom 18 Media and Webaroo, and holds a B.Com degree in Business Management from the University of Mumbai. Sen worked at CosyTech and Naaptol, and he holds a B.E. degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Mumbai. Prior to LivQuik, Pinto was working at Accenture and he also holds a BE degree in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai.
Apart from being an advisor at LivQuik, Bhattacharya is currently working as a senior business analyst at Samena Capital, an investment group focused on India, Asia and the MENA region. She had earlier worked with companies such as What's On India and Credit Suisse, and holds a B.Sc. degree in Astrophysics from the Imperial College London.
According to the company, QuikWallet is India's first mobile payment app for smartphones that works with progressive technologies like near field communication (NFC) and quick response (QR) codes. The product platform is currently patent pending and has standard application programming interfaces (APIs) that can integrate with any point-of-sale billing software. Merchants can also use a web-based virtual terminal interface for accepting payments. The unique selling proposition (USP) of QuikWallet is that no extra hardware is required at the merchant's end and the customer's 'card details' never enters the merchant's environment. Here's a video explaining the service.
The Indian smartphone market stands at one third of the US market today and is set to double every year â€“ hence, there is tremendous room for growth in this space, said Lalvani. He further mentioned that Gloria Jean's Coffee and Mocha are confirmed launch partners for the platform and consumers will soon be able to pay via their smartphones at those outlets.
In May this year, Pune-based Snow Leopard Technology Ventures invested Rs 2.5 crore in Voylla.com, a jewellery and accessory e-tailer owned by Bangalore-based Voylla Retail Pvt Ltd. As part of the investment, Chris Kolenaty, partner at Snow Leopard, joined the Voylla board.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)