The rise of open banking and payment services such as India’s UPI and Singapore’s PayNow means lower costs for businesses and new payment options for hundreds of millions of customers in emerging markets who don’t own a credit card. Tazapay was created to combine both card and real-time payment methods as a full-stack service for merchants selling cross-border, so they only need one payment platform.
The Singapore-based fintech, which enables cross-border payments in more than 170 markets, announced today that it has raised $16.9 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia. Other participants included EscapeVelocity, PayPal Alumni Fund and angel investor Gokul Rajaram. Existing investors Foundamental, January Capital, RTP Global and Saison Capital also returned for the round.
Rahul Shinghal, CEO and co-founder of Tazapay, told australiabusinessblog.com that he has worked in payments for most of his career. He started out as a product manager for the e-commerce industry at Indian bank ICICI before moving on to positions at NETS, PayPal and Stripe. “Throughout the last 25 years of my career, I have seen how complex cross-border payments can be, including having to juggle keeping costs low and quick settlement times while navigating regulations in multiple jurisdictions and offering multiple currencies,” said he.
Tazapay was created to solve those problems. The API covers more than 170 card payment markets and 85 local payment collection markets, meaning customers can accept payments in different countries without having to set up local entities. Shinghal said the service supports a wide range of customers, including B2B operations, e-commerce platforms that sell directly to consumers, and B2B2C.
Some of the startup’s clients include B2B marketplace IndiaMART, which claims more than 7.4 million sellers and 165 million buyers on its platform; live learning platform BrightCHAMPS; used truck marketplace WTX; travel platform Rezlive; and employee engagement SaaS platform Advantage Club. It has also partnered with Standard Chartered, the British multinational bank, to offer digital escrow services.
The funding will be used to scale up and expand Tazapay’s business in Asia in regions such as the Middle East and Europe. The startup plans to apply for payment licenses and add more local payment methods to serve its verticals, including cross-border e-commerce, edtech, SaaS, and travel.
In a statement on the funding, Aakash Kapoor, vice president of Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia, said: “Buyers increasingly prefer to use local real-time payments over traditional networks and companies are eager to expand globally without the hassle of a local set. The Tazapay team has unique insights and experience to leverage this tailwind, and Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia is excited to partner with them as they double down on this opportunity.”