The rise of open banking and payment services like UPI in India and PayNow in Singapore means lower costs for businesses, as well as new payment options for hundreds of millions of customers in emerging markets who don’t have credit card. tazapay was created to combine card and real-time payment methods as a complete service for merchants selling across borders, so they only need to use one payment platform.
The Singapore-based fintech, which enables cross-border payments in more than 170 markets, today announced that it has raised $16.9m in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia. Other participants included EscapeVelocity, PayPal Alumni Fund and angel investor Gokul Rajaram. Existing investors Fundamental, January Capital, RTP Global and Saison Capital also returned for the round.
Rahul Shinghal, CEO and co-founder of Tazapay, told TechCrunch that he has spent most of his career working in payments. He started as a product manager for vertical e-commerce at Indian bank ICICI, before moving to NETS, PayPal and Stripe. “Over the past 25 years of my career, I have seen how complex cross-border payments can be, including having to juggle low costs and short settlement times while navigating regulations in multiple jurisdictions and providing multiple currencies,” he said.
Tazapay was created to solve these problems. Its API covers more than 170 markets for card payments and 85 markets for collecting local payments, which means that its customers can accept payments in different countries without having to create local entities. Shinghal said the service supports a wide range of customers, including B2B operations, e-commerce platforms selling direct to consumers, and B2B2C.
Among the startup’s clients are B2B marketplace IndiaMART, which claims more than 7.4 million sellers and 165 million buyers on its platform; the BrightCHAMPS live learning platform; WTX used truck market; Rezlive travel platform; and the Advantage Club employee engagement SaaS platform. It is also associated with Standard Chartered, the British multinational bank, to offer digital escrow services.
The funding will be used to expand Tazapay’s business in Asia and expand into regions like the Middle East and Europe. The startup plans to apply for payment licenses and add more local payment methods to serve its vertical markets, including cross-border e-commerce, edtech, SaaS, and travel.
In a statement on the funding, Sequoia Capital’s Vice President for Southeast Asia, Aakash Kapoor, said, “Buyers increasingly prefer to use real-time local payments over traditional networks and businesses want to grow globally without going through the hassle of a local setup. The Tazapay team has unique knowledge and experience to capitalize on this tailwind, and Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia is delighted to partner with them as they double down on this opportunity.