[YS Gulf Exclusive] Xare acquires Bengaluru-based Rive to simplify money transfer for immigrants
Xare, a Dubai-based fintech startup, has acquired Bengaluru-based financial services platform Rive for an undisclosed amount.
Thursday January 12, 2023,
4 min Read
Dubai-based fintech startup(pronounced share) has acquired Bengaluru-based Rive for an undisclosed amount to further build and enable UPI transactions on the Xare app.
With the acquisition of the financial services startup, Xare brings social finance to the UPI stack, enabling users to add cards on UPI. The move is also expected to strengthen its remittance product, enabling families in India to use their NRI members’ UPI/card access to make payments.
This development comes following the NPCI’s new mandate allowing NRIs to transact on UPI platforms from international mobile numbers with country codes of the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and the UK. They can also continue using domestic numbers on UPI.
“It’s a long-awaited and very welcome move. It’s no secret that 95% of places in the country don’t accept international cards and visiting NRIs often struggle to make payments, especially for smaller denominations,” Milind Singh, CPO and Co-founder, Xare tells YourStory Gulf Edition.
“With UPI being the ubiquitous mechanism for payments in the country, the new regulation will allow NRIs to easily access over 63 million QR codes using their international mobile numbers. We applaud the government’s directive and its effort to create a fair ecosystem for payments in the country,” he adds.
What does Xare do?
In 2018, Padmini Gupta, Milind Singh, and Mandeep Singh started Rise to give migrants access to bank accounts, insurance, investments, and loans.
“The RBI doesn’t allow NRIs to take a loan in India, and in Dubai, if you earn less than AED 5,000 you cannot get a credit card. Close to 70% of the UAE earns less than AED 5000, and they have no access to credit,” says Milind.
DIFC invested in the company in 2019. To make the access deeper and make it easy for those with international cards to send money home, the team started Xare.
The Xare platform allows people to share access to their credit or debit cards with their families to shop in-app with merchant partners. The card data and information remains with the owner of the card. The app itself doesn’t hold any money, the app is on the card rails, but doesn’t have access to the funds. The user can choose with whom to share their debit or credit card information.
“We don’t see any data of the users and have no idea of the card. The usage limits, transactions etc are all set up by the user,” explains Milind.
The startup aims to being the world's unbanked minorities into the financial system.
Said Murad, Partner Global Ventures, believes MEA region is poised to grow at a significantly fast pace
Why build Xare?
“The people who stay in the UAE spend $50 billion and the amount they send home is close to $40 billion, as our research findings have gathered. And they you don’t need to send remittances. The largest immigrant population of the UAE is made up of Indians. Every year, they send close to $15 billion home. The people have no visibility and control of where the money is being spent,” says Milind.
In most cases, the transactions are either through cash or a supplementary card. The latter requires bank intervention, which can take a lot of time. Xare solves for that by completing the process quickly, claiming under 30 minutes. The tech platform has users from 180 countries, 120 cities, and has recorded over $1.5 billion transacted on the platform.
The company recently launched Xare Club—a network or club of cards with people. It enables other users to share the card and avail any bank offers.
The startup had earlier raised undisclosed funding from MS&AD Ventures, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Astra Amco, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Fund, 500 Startups, Khwarizmi Ventures, and Phoenician Funds.
“The value proposition appeals to a wide range of stakeholders—from ex-pat professionals to their kin, to local and international merchants. Between them, they are incubating an economy that’s transparent and financially liberated,” says Ankit Sarwahi, Partner, MEVP.
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Edited by Kanishk Singh