Sequoia capital puts Rs 40 crore in Backwater Technologies, the startup behind Chillr app
Sequoia is investing Rs 40 crore in Backwater Technologies, the startup behind Chillr app which allows users to transfer money to any contact in their phone book.
The Mumbai-based startup, which has tied up with HDFC Bank and Bank of Baroda till date, will use the funding for customer acquisition as technology increasingly disrupts the financial services industry. Chillr had earlier raised around Rs 6 crore from MobMe Wireless and plans to raise another Rs 10 crore as a part of its Series-A round.
The mobile application, which currently sees over 5,000 transactions worth Rs 50 lakh a day, is targeting 1 lakh transactions a day by end of the year.
"We launched the application in March by tying up with HDFC Bank and till date have done 4 lakh transactions worth Rs 20 crore," said Sony Joy, cofounder and CEO of the company. Chillr plans to tie up with 15 banks by end of the year.
It already has 3.5 lakh installs, with 2 lakh customers who have linked their bank accounts with the application to both make and recieve payments. While it started with peer-to-peer transfers, the company has expanded to utility bill payments and mobile recharges. Chillr also plans to start payments to merchents through the application, for which it has already started pilots in Mumbai.
Sequoia, one of the biggest investors in Indian tech startups, has backed several startups in financial technology space like online financial marketplace BankBazaar, which recently raised Rs 375 crore led by Amazon.
It has also been an early backer of payment companies like Pine Labs and Prizm Payments and other startups like MobiKwik and Citrus. The deal comes as financial technology startups are increasingly gaining traction among investors.
"The financial services industry is ripe for huge disruption and is waiting for its Uber like moment as banks and NBFCs have been sitting pretty on licences for a long time," said Anish Jhaveri, founder of Oliphans Capital, which has backed companies like Ecomm Express and is evaluating deals in the space. Indian banks have been launching mobile apps to capture smartphone payment activity of consumer like ICICI Bank's Pockets, Axis Bank's Lime and HDFC Bank's Payzapp.