India’s handset brand Micromax, is close to launching its own mobile wallet by through Yu Televentures, by striking a partnership with a payments firm. This will enable it offer consumers a wide range of services on its platform.
Yu, which on Thursday announced its entry into software services with the launch of Around Yu—a suite of services bundled into its new smartphone Yutopia—said it is eyeing a strategic investment in a payments company. The deal is expected within a month.
“All these services will be deeply integrated and stitched with one payments system,” said Rahul Sharma, co-founder, Micromax.
YU in collaboration with few third-party payment firms will enter mobile wallet business to take on established players – Paytm, Oxigen Wallet, MobiKwik,FreeCharge, Chillr and PayuMoney.
Yu has been working on its services platform for nearly a year now, in the first phase offers services in travel (local cabs, flights, hotels), food, shopping and will add up more categories going forward. These services are being rolled out in partnership with food ordering platform Zomato, price comparison travel site Ixigo and price comparison shopping portal Scandid.
The company is looking to make at least four to five new investments in start-ups in healthcare and payments companies in the next 12-15 months to boost the services play.
“You will see us investing in more companies and then integrate them in our services platform,” Sharma added.
Gurgaon-based Micromax was started in 2008 and sells its products in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Russia, among its international markets. The company is looking to expand its presence to markets such as Africa, West Asia and some other parts of Asia.
In October it announced a strategic investment in Scandid – a mobile-first product and savings discovery platform. In the same month, it also invested in Gaana, an online music streaming service operated by Times Internet Ltd. Prior to that, it had picked up a stake in MiMedia Inc, a cloud service provider in August; mobile travel search & marketplace ixigo in June, and digital fitness app HealthifyMe in May.