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OMA Emirates scouting for acquisitions in Indias fintech space
January, 29th 2018

OMA Emirates had in August announced OMA Emirates fintech fund worth $23 million for investments in fintech start-ups in India

OMA Emirates Group, a United Arab Emirates-based payment solutions provider that had set up its India dedicated maiden venture fund last year, is scouting for acquisitions in India, a top company official said.

“A key focus area for us is mergers and acquisitions through which we are able to expand our scope of offerings for various industries by providing the most cutting-edge and innovative solutions for our clients across the globe,” Niranj Sangal, group chief executive of OMA Emirates, said in an interview.

OMA group is currently present in nine countries in West Asia, Europe and Asia, and provides technology solutions for card personalization, payment issuance and acquiring systems. It has an annual turnover of more than $2 billion and much of its expansion has been led by mergers and acquisitions.

In 2016, OMA Emirates invested in Morocco-based ‘Business Rules Solutions’ (BRS), an IT consulting company specializing in software development as part of its expansion into the North African market.

In India, OMA began operations with the acquisition of mobile Point of Sale (PoS) company MobiSwipe in early 2017.

“MobiSwipe enables merchants to transact via a card reader that is connected to a smartphone. Currently, MobiSwipe is a part of OMA Emirates Mobility range of products,” Sangal said.

In August last year, OMA announced a $23 million OMA Emirates fintech fund dedicated to investments in India and has so far made four investments from the fund.

“A corpus of $3 million has been set aside for investments in start-ups that have been operational for 3-12 months and $20 million towards existing fintech firms that have been around for over 12 months,” Sangal said.

The fintech sector is one that requires constant capital to fuel innovation and growth, he said.

“There are numerous companies with innovative offerings that cease operations primarily due to the lack of funding and access to market and opportunity,” he added.

“The OMA Emirates Fintech Fund has been set up with the intention of filling this need gap for the fintech sector. Through the fund, the OMA Emirates Group will provide support in addition to capital investment,” he said.

The fintech sector has seen a number of investments in the past one year with banks and financial institutions emerging as accelerators for fintech start-ups.

In July last year, Axis Bank acquired mobile wallet FreeCharge in a Rs385 crore all-cash deal, strengthening its position in the payments space.

Also, Bajaj Finance, one of India’s leading non-banking finance companies (NBFC) has announced the acquisition of a significant stake in mobile wallet company MobiKwik.

In November, Active.ai, a start-up that makes chatbots for banks, raised $8.25 million in a series A round led by Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek.

Innoviti Payment Solutions, a payments company backed by Infosys Ltd co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran, also raised Rs120 crore in its latest round of funding from SBI-FMO and Bessemer Venture Partners, to boost its businesses across the retail supply chain in July last year. Innoviti is a payment technology firm that helps merchants accept payments across channels like mobile, web or at the time of delivery.

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