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Earlier this month SBT Venture Capital, the venture arm of Russia’s national savings bank Sberbank, led a $6.5 million investment round for Mobeewave, a Canadian startup that develops fast and secure near-field communication (NFC) mobile payment acceptance services. Business angels also participated in the round, but their identity has not been disclosed.
Founded in 2012, Montreal-based Mobeewave presents itself as “the world’s first and only provider of dongle-free NFC mobile payment terminal solutions enabling payment acceptance on smart devices.”
This technology turns any NFC-enabled phone (or other smart device) into a secure, contactless payment terminal (mobile POS) to receive payments from ApplePay, contactless cards, or any NFC wallets without the use of any additional hardware.
STB Venture Capital managing partner Mircea Mihaescu sees in the Mobeewave technology “a game changer.”
“This integrated contactless mPOS technology takes full advantage of development in both the mPOS and the NFC world,” he wrote in his blog. “While the number of NFC-enabled phones and contactless cards issued around the globe is rising substantially, mobile payment acceptance remains insufficient. In the US, for example, the ratio of issued contactless cards to contactless terminals is 600 to 1. No wonder only 10 percent of ApplePay customers have reported using it in the first month of availability.”
Added Mihaescu, “Mobeewave’s technology is uniquely positioned on this market. … There is no additional hardware, no complex logistics, just download an app, signup for the service and start accepting payments right away. … It also brings all the benefits of the mPOS: no dedicated device and installation fees, low infrastructure costs for payment processing, and low logistics costs compared to traditional POS. The merchant can choose the mobile device he wants and accept payment with it.”
Canadian payment technology brought to Russia?
Neither Mobeewave nor its team had any preexisting link with Russia. However, “it could definitely be of great interest for us in order to deploy NFC mPOS services on the Russian market, since Sberbank is a key player in the local bank industry,” Mobeewave COO and cofounder Maxime de Nanclas told East-West Digital News.
Sberbank announced back in 2012 the launch of a $100 million fund to invest in Russian and foreign startups. In 2013, SBT participated in a $12 million series B for Sequent Software, a California-based firm specializing in the development of mobile-commerce software. Then, SBT took part in a series A round worth 3 million euros for Walkbase, a Finnish startup that publishes a retail-analytics solution.
Last year, the Russian fund also invested in British fintech startup Red Zebra Analytics, London-based accelerator Startupbootcamp, American banking app Moven, and Sweden’s NetGuardians. In December, SBT injected $5 million into Southeast Asian fintech service Advanced Merchant Payments.
This story originally appeared on www.ewdn.com.
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