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Essar acquires strategic stake in Obopay Inc

Essar Communications Holdings Limited (ECHL), the telecom subsidiary of Essar Global Limited, has acquired a strategic stake in Obopay Inc., the pioneering service provider for payments via mobile phones. Consequent to this, K B Rajendran, Senior Vice President – Business Development, Essar has been elected to the Obopay Board of Directors.


Commenting on the investment K B Rajendran said, “We are excited with our investment in Obopay which gives us an opportunity to be involved in this promising business segment. Obopay has introduced significant mobile payment innovations in the U.S. and recently in India as well. We look forward to working with Obopay to build upon the integration of the mobile phone into the lives of consumers worldwide.”


Obopay, Inc. recently announced closing of its fourth round of venture funding, raising $20 million, and the addition of two new board members K B Rajendran, Senior Vice President, Essar Global Limited and Robert G. Hottensen, Jr., Senior Vice President for Public Equity at Olayan America Corporation to their board of directors.


“This round of investment builds on Obopay’s proven success in the mobile payments market,” explained Carol Realini, CEO of Obopay. “With our continuing focus on delivering services built on specific feedback from consumers, such as the ability to send money from and receive money to any US bank account, the success of our partnerships and our international expansion, we remain confident in the viability of the American — and global — mobile payments market. With this latest round of funding and the addition of Robert and Rajendran’s expertise to our board, we look forward to continuing to expand the mobile payments market.”


Essar led the current investment round and current investors, including Alliance Bernstein, ONSET Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Richmond Management and Richmond Global Cellular, Citi, Société Générale, Qualcomm, and Promethean also participated in it. New investors include Essar Communications Holdings Limited and Olayan America Corporation, a global investment office of The Olayan Group.

Essar has extensive experience in financing telecom ventures, rolling out telecom networks and marketing of telecom products and services. This strategic alliance will significantly benefit both organisations in terms of synergising their strengths and partnering across multiple geographies to promote the mobile payment initiatives.

Source: Money Control

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