Citrus Pay gets $2 million investment from Sequoia Capital

Venture capital company Sequoia Capital has said it has invested $2 million in Indian payments product start-up Citrus Pay.

Goutam Das
Venture capital company Sequoia Capital on Wednesday said it has invested $2 million in Indian payments product start-up Citrus Pay.

The Mumbai-based company, founded in 2011, aspires to be the "next generation Indian PayPal". Its solutions help consumers make online payments with fewer clicks than they are currently used to while reducing the technical complexity for merchants.

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Current online payment gateways take up to eight screens and a customer may require to fill in 20 data fields. Citrus Pay is promising a simpler interface that requires not more than two steps to complete a payment.

"Once a customer registers, transactions can be completed in three to four seconds. Customer and card details need not be re-entered every time he comes online to make a payment. He only has to fill in the CVV number. A faster purchase also means a fatter top line for merchants," said founder and managing director Satyen Kothari, addressing a press meet.

Kothari, who has worked with Apple in the past, has teamed up with Jitendra Gupta, a payments expert formerly with ICICI Bank, to launch the company.

The start-up has acquired more than 550 merchants and is currently processing 11,000 transactions a day. It makes money from commissions and by renting out an intellectual property platform on a software as a service (SaaS) model to merchants. The platform helps merchants manage multiple payment gateways, ensure performance and derive analytics.

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The Indian online payments space is estimated to be worth $20 billion currently and the company expects it to grow to $50 billion by 2015. Most of the pie is travel e-commerce but other categories are expected to catch up in the coming years.

Sequoia Capital has invested in several payments solutions companies, including PayPal, in 1999. "We have a heritage in payments," said Mohit Bhatnagar, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India Advisors. "The payments system in India is broken and many e-commerce transactions fail today. Citrus has an opportunity to become a strong consumer brand," he added.

Besides PayPal, Sequoia has invested in Square, Xoom, Green Dot, Klarna and Alipay among other payments companies.