Grab has acquired Bangalore-based payments startup iKaaz with the aim of leveraging iKaaz’ mobile payments platform to accelerate feature development and partner integration of Grab’s own payments platform, GrabPay.
Grab plans to expand across all markets in Southeast Asia in 2018 with the goal of becoming the region’s universal payments platform.
Launched in 2014, iKaaz’ technology stack encompasses a range of innovations, such as NFC, QR-code, audio-based payments as well as bill payments, online payments and P2P. This flexibility and scalability make it ideally suited for Southeast Asia’s diverse payments landscape and large unbanked population, said Jason Thompson, managing director of GrabPay Southeast Asia.
“iKaaz’ technology has served merchants and partners across different industries and in different settings, from parking lots and airports to retail stores and hotels,” Thompson said. “This rich set of offline payments features offers the flexibility needed to tailor our GrabPay platform to each country and partner in Southeast Asia.”
Following the completion of the acquisition, the Ikaaz team will join Grab’s Bangalore R&D center. The iKaaz leadership team brings on board experience from payment startups such as Nokia Money and Obopay.
Grab says that GrabPay already facilitates more than 3.5 million transactions daily and over a billion transactions per year.
Grab’s Bangalore R&D center, one of six globally, currently employs 75 engineers, with Grab planning to hire 200 engineers in total by end of this year.
No financial details of the buyout were disclosed.