EWise, a global provider of online payments and online financial management solutions, today announced that it has completed a funding round from the three major markets, Asia/Pacific, Europe and North America resulting in $12.1 million being raised to:
- Accelerate the US rollout of Secure Vault Payments (SVP), an OBeP (Online Banking ePayments) network sponsored and governed by NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association;
- Launch and support operations of an OBeP network in the UK;
- Expand the online Personal Financial Management (PFM) division in the UK, China and Asia Pacific.
The funding round was led by Balderton Capital, one of Europe's largest technology investors. Dharmash Mistry, partner at Balderton, has joined the board of eWise. Other major investors include Atlanta based Total Technology Ventures, Patagorang, led by Mr. Roger Allen and Mr. Stanley S. Shuman of Allen & Co.
This funding is the first step to support eWise's vision to transform the way people pay online by establishing OBeP networks globally. Within 3 years, eWise envisions 250 million users enabled through existing networks in the US and the UK and through planned growth in Asia. In addition, through the members of the International Council of Payment Network Operators (ICPNO), for which eWise is a founding member, growth in partnering OBeP networks could reach 400 million enabled users within 5 years. The ICPNO was established in 2008 to develop common standards and rules for global interoperability between OBeP networks. Currently, there are over 15 successful OBeP networks operating around the world.
Dharmash Mistry of Balderton said: "We are very excited by the bold vision of eWise. In SVP, the compelling yet simple proposition of allowing customers to pay for online purchases through their own bank accounts, we believe that eWise has developed an innovative game-changing payments solution. At the same time, we are confident that Alex and his team will successfully accelerate the global rollout of eWise's leading online personal financial management product. I am pleased to join the board of the company."
OBeP networks enable consumers to make private and secure payments for goods and services online. Using the OBeP network, customers shopping online are directed to their own online bank accounts via the merchant's site and pay for goods or services quickly and easily without having to give personal financial details to the merchant or any other third party. This brings benefits to all parties involved in the transaction: for consumers, it is fast and secure; for merchants it offers lower costs and improved sales conversion; and for banks it recaptures or creates revenue opportunities for direct payment relationships with customers and aids migration of payments from cash and check to electronic payments.
eWise also provides other innovative solutions to the banking sector including an online PFM system that brings all the accounts held by one person onto a single screen, with analytics and financial management tools, that can be accessed by a single user ID. eWise operates in the US, UK, China and Australia and expects the number of users of its leading PFM solution to grow by 50% in 2010. Clients include Citibank and First Direct (part of HSBC) in the UK, Ping An in China and Westpac in Australia.
eWise founder and chief executive Alexander Grinberg said: "eWise already operates on a global scale and this latest round of investment by Balderton and our existing investors TTV and Patagorang will enable us to accelerate the roll out of the SVP network in the US and mine new revenue streams. We are delighted to welcome Dharmash to our board of directors."