Lightspeed leads INR500m funding round for Indian prepaid cash cards

Matrix and Intel have also backed Itz Cash Card, which provides cashless payment services India's 'under-banked' population.

Lightspeed Venture Partners, which makes venture and growth capital investments globally, has led an INR500 million ($10.4 million; €7.3 million) investment in Itz Cash Card, an Indian prepaid card company.

Matrix Partners India and Intel Capital, who invested a total of $10 million in the company in its first funding round two years ago, have participated in this funding round, as well.

Following the investment, Bejul Somaia, managing director of Lightspeed Advisory Services India will join the board of Itz Cash Card.

Established in 2004, Itz Cash Card is a multi-purpose prepaid cash card company offering cashless payment solutions across physical, internet and mobile channels. It provides a payment instrument for the under-banked or unbanked population of India, Lightspeed said in a statement.

Itz Cash Card will use the investment to expand its product portfolio and venture into the retail payments

We believe there is significant growth potential for this product given that cash accounts for approximately 97 percent of the country's retail payments, which exceed $500 billion.

Bejul Somaia

space. The company will also seek to tap new market segments with the capital received.

“We believe there is significant growth potential for this product given that cash accounts for approximately 97 percent of the country’s retail payments, which exceed $500 billion,” Somaia said in a statement.

Lightspeed currently manages assets of more than $2 billion. The firm invests up to $25 million per deal in sectors such as technology businesses, advertising and media, business and financial services, healthcare, education and retail. It has invested in more than 150 companies in the last twenty years. 
Matrix Partners India manages assets of $300 million and invested about $80 million so far. The firm makes venture capital investments of up to $10 million and growth capital investments of up to $50 million. Earlier this month, the India-focused venture and growth capital firm invested INR1 billion in FIITJEE, a group providing training for competitive examinations in India. Globally, Matrix manages assets of $2 billion across its various funds.

Intel Capital invests in India from the $250 million Intel Capital India Technology Fund. In January, the firm invested $23 million in One97 Communications, and Global Talent Track, all Indian technology companies. The firm began investing in India in 1998.