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MobiKwik hires Line India's former head Daman Soni to drive user growth

Digital wallet firm MobiKwik has appointed former India head of instant messaging app Line, Daman Soni, as vice president for growth.

In his new role, Soni will be responsible for achieving the company's user growth targets. Besides, he will also support the marketing function, MobiKwik said in a statement.

"His strength lies in his observation of deep insights and driving sustainable results from it. Having past entrepreneurial experience is another positive. We are very excited to have Daman as part of Team MobiKwik and look forward to leveraging his considerable industry experience as we expand our operations," MobiKwik founder Bipin Preet Singh said.

Soni, an alumnus of ISB Hyderabad and NIT Rourkela, was earlier heading the Indian market for the Line suite of apps and was responsible for strategy, growth and marketing. Prior to that, he headed telecoms business development for Infosys in the UK. He also co-founded a company in the education space and another startup in the content and media space.

"I am pleased at receiving the opportunity to lead growth for MobiKwik at a time when the mobile wallet industry is at the cusp of its evolution. My objective is to take MobiKwik to new heights and become a significant part of the company's growth journey," Soni said.

MobiKwik was founded in 2009 by the husband-wife duo of Bipin Preet Singh and Upasana Taku. The company claims to have a network of more than 10 lakh direct merchants and 45 million plus users on its platform.

Recently, the Gurgaon-based company announced that will invest Rs 50 crore to expand its offline footprint across the country. It is looking to open offices in 13 cities and hire nearly 1,000 sales and marketing professionals. It has so far raised $120 million in funding and some of its investors include Sequoia, American Express, Tree Line Asia and MediaTek, among others.

Following the high note ban by the Centre on November 8 and the consequent cash crunch, consumer wallet companies have benefited.

MobiKwik's marketing budget is typically $15-20 million (Rs 102-136 crore) a year, but that has tripled after demonetisation. It now plans to invest Rs 25 crore over the next three months on major advertising campaigns.

The company aims to achieve a gross transaction value (GTV) of $10 billion and serve over 150 million users in 2017.

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