In the race to be India's next unicorn, MobiKwik claims steady growth and offline push


On Wednesday, mobile wallet major MobiKwik announced that it has close to 55 million consumers transacting on its platform, with a base of 15 lakh active merchants across categories.

The numbers were released by the company on the sidelines of a press conference that was held to announce MobiKwik’s partnership with Bangalore One, the Karnataka government’s application for the facilitation of government-citizen engagement. The partnership will now allow citizens to make digital payments for government taxes and utility bills, while also applying for driving licences and filing income-tax returns on the MobiKwik app.

Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet (Co-founders of MobikWik)

According to a statement issued by the company, the digital payment category overall represents a Rs 40,000 crore opportunity, of which apps like Karnataka Mobile One command a share of Rs 3,500 crore, which MobiKwik plans to ride upon.

Chief Business Officer Vineet Singh stated that MobiKwik is at present adding close to 9,500 merchants on a daily basis. Further, the company seems to be logging close to three million transactions on a monthly basis.

While speaking to YourStory, Vineet said that the wallet sees an average transaction size of Rs 700. The company claims to be growing at a steady rate of 20 percent MoM, which Vineet stated was lower than the growth rate during demonetisation.

If data from the Reserve Bank of India is to be believed, the volume of mobile wallet transactions was at an all-time high for the last quarter in March, hitting 307 million transactions.

Calling their offline push relatively new, the company stated that offline merchants (including names like Big Bazaar, Burger King, and Pizza Hut) contributed to 10 percent of the its entire revenues. Moreover, Vineet was optimistic that by calendar year 2018, this ratio would increase, with offline merchants contributing to more than 50 percent of the company’s entire revenue.

While the wallet remains predominantly free for customers, the company can levy anywhere between two to four percent on merchants for every transaction.

Resonating the vision of the founders, Vineet further stated that the company is eyeing getting 150 million users onto the platform by the next calendar year.

The company also disclosed that the demonetisation helped them add close to 35 million new users, as well as surpass a GMV of $2 billion. During this period, the company grew their team size from 150 to the present 290 members. Vineet also stated that MobiKwik has opened offices in four more cities -- Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, and Kolkata -- and is eyeing Chennai for expansion as well.

Earlier this month, it was reported that MobiKwik was in advanced talks with US-based investment management firm BlackRock Inc. to raise more than $100 million in investments. While some sources claim the amount to be close to $150 million, this new fund raise will value the company at an impressive $1 billion.

Meanwhile, arch nemesis Paytm is still lording over the space, claiming a user base of 218 million users. MobiKwik may soon be a unicorn in its own right, but there's still a long way to go in its battle for supremacy in the market.


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