Multi-bank mobile payment app Chillr has raised USD 6 million (around Rs 40 crore) in series A round of funding from Sequoia Capital to support its growth plans. “The round is not closed yet, and there will be other investors joining in the next few weeks,” Chillr said in a statement issued.
Sequoia Capital MD Shailesh Lakhani said: “Chillr is the smoothest payment experience we have seen. We look forward to partnering with the team as they eliminate cash.” The company will use part of the capital to acquire customers and merchants while the rest will be invested in technology and strengthening the team.
Chillr aims to tie up with 30,000 merchants and on-board 15 leading banks by the end of March 2016. It aims to expand its team size to 150 from 70 by the end of the current fiscal.
“We have crossed four lakh transactions since Chillr’s beta launch in February 2015,” the startup’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Sony Joy said. “We have witnessed that average peer-to-peer transaction value is close to Rs 1,000 and most users recharge their mobiles three or more times in a month. “This proves that users are preferring to use digital money and the capital infusion will help us enhance our offerings and achieve the vision of enabling a digital economy,” he said.
Besides person-to-person money transfer, Chillr currently supports recharging of prepaid mobile plans, DTH and data cards.
Chillr was founded by Sony Joy, the person behind MobMe Wireless in 2013. With Chillr, you can send or receive money with anyone in your phonebook without having to know their account number, IFSC code etc or wait for OTP SMS’s each time. Chillr app is presently available only for HDFC Bank and Bank of Baroda customers. Other bank customers can only receive money.
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- Pay Utilities – (Prepaid Mobile, DTH & Data Card)
- Near Me – Proximity payments using QR codes (without even knowing mobile number)
- Transaction Logs
Each transaction in chillr is protected by secret MPIN given to you by your bank, state of the art end-to-end HTTPS encryption, 2-Factor authentication and 2048-bit encryption keys. There are no costs for using Chillr at the moment. However, standard IMPS charges may be applied by your bank for sending money to other bank accounts. (HDFC Bank – Rs 5 + Taxes, Bank of Baroda – FREE)
Chillr is competing with companies like Paytm, Freecharge (acquired by snapdeal), mobikwik, payu and others. Sequoia capital has also invested in Mobikwik.
Mobile payment is the next big thing in India. As smartphone sales continue their growth by 51% every three months, the mobile commerce market may grow by 55% from its present size of $2 billion to $19 billion by 2019. [Source: Forrester]
We have already seen a high level of investor interest in this area this year with China’s Alibaba group company Ant Financial Services investing in Paytm. “Payment has been the biggest problem in the country. That is why the first wave of eCommerce was solving a payment problem using cash on delivery. So the second wave has to be payment on delivery and that has to be through the mobile, because mobile is what is happening in the country now”, says Paytm founder Vijay Shekar Sharma.
eCommerce players like Flipkart and Snapdeal already has their own payment business. Snapdeal acquired Freecharge where as Flipkart started its own payment business PayZippy which it has shut down in 2013. However Flipkart later invested on Ngpay, a mobile payment company.
Image Reference: pymnts
India has 19 million credit card holders and around 350 million debit card holders. Neither credit card or debit card was able to solve the consumer problem. Then came the internet banking as an alternative.With regard to payments, there are two waves – one in 2004 when online travel booking took off and the second in 2011-12, when recharges, utility payments and online shopping took off. But intense competition in this segment is squeezing the margins and there by affecting the profits of these mobile payment firms. There is no differentiation as such in mobile payments. Hence prices keep going down and the margins as well.
As Sequoia MD said, Chillr is providing a smooth experience to transfer cash. Chillr’s ability to provide a cashless and seamless experience is what is making it different. Through Chillr you can transfer money to anyone in your phone’s contact list without even knowing their account number. You don’t have to worry about IFSC code or One time passwords where most of the time the SMS won’t reach your phone before the time expires. But as normal user, what concerns him most is the security of his account as well as the transactions that he makes. If Chillr can help people understand the security aspects more, then I think Chillr will surely be a game changer in this mobile payment industry.