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Mswipe Technology Receives $31M from Ratan Tata Backed UC-RNT Fund

A number of Mswipe’s existing investors, like Falcon Edge Capital, Meru Capital, Ola, DSG Consumer Partners and Matrix Partners, have also participated in the latest round, which values the company at about $200M.

UC-RNT Capital, a global investment platform backed by Mr. Ratan N. Tata, the joint investment vehicle sponsored by Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and the University of California, has led a $31 million (Rs. 206 crore) funding round in Mumbai-based point-of-sale venture Mswipe Technologies.

The deal which is being signed has a mix of both primary and secondary components, with the fund giving a complete exit to Axis Bank, an early investor in Mswipe, and which held an 8% stake in the six-year-old company. The private sector lender is believed to have sold its stake for about $12 million.

A number of Mswipe’s existing investors, a list that includes US-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital, investment company Meru Capital, ride-hailing app Ola, DSG Consumer Partners, and Matrix Partners, have also participated in the latest round, which values the company at about $200 million.

After demonetisation, the point-of-sales deploying industry received a huge boost in business with new orders coming in from banks, as well as renewed interest from even small merchants to start accepting digital payments. 

This allowed players like Mswipe, which acquires its own merchants, and also works with multiple banks, to expand its footprint rapidly. Unlike traditional PoS devices, Mswipe deploys mobile PoS terminals, which are small card-reading devices to be attached to a smartphone, and used for accepting all forms of card payments.

Founded by Manish Patel in 2011, a doctor by training, Mswipe has around 2.4 lakh terminals deployed across more than 500 locations in the country, and claims to have recorded annual transactions of about Rs 8,850 crore. It recently acquired the offline point-of-sales business of PayU, and has also tied up with Sodexo and Samsung Pay to expand its acceptance infrastructure.

The company is also working on smartPoS devices which work independent of a  smartphone and accepts payments like Unified Payments Interface, BharatQR and Aadhaar-enabled Payments Systems, besides card payments.

Ratan Tata, in his personal capacity, has been among the most active and high-profile investors in the country’s startup ecosystem over the  past few years.The fund invests in disruptive, technology-oriented businesses  across the world and takes a long-term, founder-centric approach to  investing, often relying on its propriety sourcing advantage. It partners closely with the office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents, University of California. Till date the fund has made three investments in three companies, as namely Curefit ($3 million), Ola ($330 million) and Aditazz (undisclosed amount/Series B).

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