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Excl: PayMate pivoting to B2B platform; Lightbox commits more to proposed $30M in fresh funding

VCCircle_PaymatMumbai-based PayMate India Pvt Ltd, which provides B2C mobile payments solutions, is retuning its focus to provide B2B solutions to the small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India, a top executive of the firm told Techcircle.in.

"The B2B business vertical has long been ignored by payments solutions companies," said Ajay Adiseshann, co-founder and MD of PayMate. "Most SMBs and merchants are using haphazard or asynchronous solutions to pay their suppliers or partners. This is where we are seeing massive opportunities with our B2B solution PayMate Express," he added.

PayMate Express is a unified platform that allows SMBs to register their multiple payments instruments like cards to make payments to suppliers and partners. As of now, SMBs are using cash, cheques or real-time gross settlement system (RTGS).

Adiseshann said that the existing solutions are inefficient and time consuming, whereas PayMate Express offers real-time information on the cash being moved.

Initially, PayMate is targeting SMBs operating in the travel segment. The company claimed that it is on its way to get on board 20,000 SMBs by the end of the current fiscal, and is already trending towards processing $1 billion (Rs 6,000 crore) transaction value. The firm now targets to generate $12-15 billion in transaction value and bring in 300,000 SMEs to its platform in 24-36 months.

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PayMate was founded in 2006 by serial entrepreneur Adiseshann and Probir Roy. Prior to setting up PayMate, Adiseshann founded Coruscant Tec, a mobile content solution firm which was sold to Mukta Arts. Previously, he founded a web development company called Webresource.

Roy has over 20 years of experience in technology, operations and strategy, and held various positions in International Atomic Energy Agency, Department of Atomic Energy India, Newscorp's Star TV India and EuroRSCG.

PayMate is a provider of mobile and e-payment solutions that enable consumers to make payments and transfers anytime/anywhere, and allows merchants to accept electronic payments and make business-to-business payments. PayMate has partnered with airlines, car rental companies, hotels, banks and other third-party financial service providers.

Adiseshann informed that the company will continue to provide B2C solutions, but the key focus will be B2B sector, going forward.

He said that the B2C payments market is fairly crowded but the business models have not evolved.

"Moreover, the customer acquisition costs are very high and no one has figured it out clearly. So, until there is clear visibility in the B2C payments business, we will continue to focus on the B2B segment," he noted.

Other players operating in the mobile payments space are Ezetap, Mosambee, iKaaz and Mswipe, among others.

In talks for fresh funding

PayMate is backed by Mayfield and Lightbox Ventures. Earlier it had raised funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Sherpalo but with bulk of their Indian portfolio moving under Lightbox, it now has just two VC investors.

PayMate is now in talks with multiple institutional as well as strategic investors to raise $25-30 million in fresh funding, and has already received commitment from Lightbox, according to Adiseshann.

"We are looking to close the round by the end of this fiscal. The money would be used to bring in more SMBs to our B2B platform, in addition to launch aggressive marketing campaigns," he added.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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