Essar Acquires Stake in Obopay

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

It is increasingly becoming evident that m-commerce is gaining foothold

worldwide and everyone wants to get a slice of it. This is because it lets

consumers and the business community purchase, pay, and transfer money through

any mobile phone using mobile applications, text message, and mobile Internet.


Essar Communications Holdings (ECHL), the telecom subsidiary of Ruias-controlled

Essar Global, has acquired a strategic stake in Obopay, the pioneering company

for m-commerce. On this promising business opportunity, KB Rajendran, sr VP,

Business Development, Essar, says, “We are excited about our investment in

Obopay which gives us an opportunity to be involved in this promising business

segment. Obopay has introduced significant mobile payment innovations in the US

and, recently, in India. We look forward to working with Obopay to build upon

the integration of the mobile phone into the lives of consumers worldwide.”

It's a win-win situation for both. While Essar Communications looks forward

to set its foot in the m-commerce business, Obopay, with this latest round of

fund raising and the addition of Rajendren into its board of directors, looks

forward to continue to expand the mobile payments market that it has pioneered.

Through this strategic alliance, the duo will leverage on each other's strength,

benefiting both organizations in promoting mobile payment initiatives across

multiple geographies.


With Essar Global already having a strong foothold in India, Canada, the US,

Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and South East Asia, this strategic

acquisition will help the company foray into the mobile payment business around

the world. Obopay's strategy has been to bring mobile payments to more consumers

through industry-first alliances like the one with Essar Holdings.

Essar led the current investment round and other investors, including

Alliance Bernstein, ONSET Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Richmond Management and

Richmond Global Cellular, Citi, Société Générale, Qualcomm, and Promethean also

participated in it. New investors include Essar Communications Holdings, which

is already on an expansion spree, and Olayan America, a global investment office

of the Olayan Group.

The US-based mobile payments company, Obopay, is on the verge of launching

person-to-person mobile payment service in India, and the talks with more than

fifteen banks are on to launch the service very soon. The simple requirement for

mobile payment is a handset and a bank account by both the parties involved in

the transaction. This innovative mobile payment services has made possible an

unimaginable array of products and services, thereby, changing consumer's

lifestyle drastically.

Products and services like mobile ticketing, mobile vouchers/coupons/loyalty

cards, content purchase and delivery, location-based services, information

services, mobile banking, mobile brokerage, and auctions will be the ones to

affect economy of scale, quicker and easier delivery, privacy-friendly data

mining on consumer behaviour, and environment-friendly and resources-saving

efficacy in business transactions.

Kannan K