Naffa Innovations, which operates mobile payments solution startup ToneTag, has raised $1.33 million from Tropical Star limited. In 2015, the startup raised $1 million from Reliance Venture Asset Management, the venture capital arm of Reliance Capital Ltd, while in November 2016, it announced an undisclosed amount of funding raised from investors including Nasscom foundation trustee Arun Seth, TV Mohandas Pai, Anand Chandrasekaran and Deepak Ghaisas.
Whether this fundraising is a part of the larger round is still to be confirmed.
Founded by Vivek Singh and Abhishek Kumar in 2014, ToneTag enables mobile payments using sound (tone) and near-field communication (NFC) tags, enabling any mobile device to make payments without Internet. It integrates its proprietary software development kit at both merchant (mobile, point-of-sale) and customer interaction points (m-wallet, m-banking apps).
ToneTag works on all mobile devices, including feature phones, and does not require any capital investment in existing infrastructure. Besides payments, it also offers location-based services and proximity-based consumer engagement solutions. The company’s technology can also be used for contactless money withdrawals from ATMs, cashless payments at toll plazas and parking, and mobile payments at railway ticket counters.
Last year they had partnered with Infosys Finacle, and announced that they’ll offer a joint solution that’ll enable the latter’s sound wave technology to enable proximity payments. With this sound based tech banks will be able to provide contactless payments even at their traditional POS terminals.
According to a report by PWC, with the smartphone user base expected to expand to about 500 million users by 2020, up from about 150 million in 2016, the digital banking footprint is projected to grow faster than ever before.
The ‘Payments’ segment has been the most funded within the Indian FinTech landscape, riding on the demonetization wave. However, banking technology solutions, including B2B products, are also experiencing strong growth and enabling financial institutions to create seamless solution delivery for end users.
Despite significant reductions in incoming global investments in the FinTech space, the India opportunity remains promising. India offers the largest unbanked or underbanked population, along with a strong technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem