Grab acquires Indian payments startup iKaaz
Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab today said it has acquired Bengaluru-based payments startup iKaaz to strengthen its payments platform. Grab, which competes with the likes of US-based Uber, said the “rich functionality of iKaaz’ mobile payments platform and its experienced leadership team will accelerate feature development and partner integration of GrabPay (its payments platform)”. It, however, did not disclose the financial details of the deal. Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. Currently, the Grab platform facilitates more than 3.5 million transactions daily and facilitates over a billion transactions per year.
Launched in 2014, iKaaz’ technology spans across areas like NFC, QR-code, audio-based payments as well as bill payments, online payments and peer-to-peer. “This flexibility and scalability make it ideally suited for Southeast Asia’s diverse payments landscape and large unbanked population,” Grab said in a statement. Following the completion of the acquisition, the Ikaaz team will join Grab’s R&D centre in Bengaluru.
The Bengaluru centre, one of Grab’s six such units globally, was set up in March last year. It currently has 75 engineers, with the company planning to hire 200 engineers in total by end of 2018. “We look forward to leveraging the expertise of iKaaz’s leadership team and build GrabPay into Southeast Asia’s universal payments platform together,” GrabPay Southeast Asia Managing Director Jason Thompson said.