California-based mobile payments outfit Obopay has raised $20 million in a series d financing round led by the telecomms arm of Indian conglomerate Essar.
Current investors, including Alliance Bernstein, Onset Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Richmond Management, Citi, Societe Generale, Qualcomm and Promethean India, also participated in the latest financing.
Following the funding, K B Rajendran, SVP at Essar Global and Robert Hottensen, SVP, public equity at investment advisory firm Olayan America, have joined the Obopay board of directors.
Rajendran has over 17 years experience in telecomms and payments businesses, including Airtel, Enron Broadband, Sify and Venture Infotek. Hottensen leads a team of analysts advising on investment opportunities at Olayan America.
Carol Realini, CEO, Obopay, says this round of investment builds on Obopay's success in the mobile payments market.
"With our continuing focus on delivering services built on specific feedback from consumers, such as the ability to send money from and receive money to any US bank account, the success of our partnerships and our international expansion, we remain confident in the viability of the American - and global - mobile payments market," adds Realini
Obopay launched its mobile payments service in the US in 2006. Subscribers to the mobile service can check their account balances, collect money owed from other mobile users, view transaction histories and invite friends to use the service.
The investment from a major Indian company comes as Obopay - which has established a development centre in Bangalore - makes a push into the country.
In March Obopay teamed with Yes Bank to launch its person-to-person money transfer service in the country. More partnerships are expected to follow with the firm saying it has struck deals with six banks and three telcos in the country.