May 20, 2020

Alipay now available across Europe

AliPay
SIX Payment Services
chinese tourists
Rita Liu
2 min
Alipay now available across Europe

SIX Payment Services and Alipay announced that they will be working together to accept POS and E-Commerce payments across Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, Alipay’s payment service will be integrated into the payment application of SIX in order to enable merchant clients of SIX to accept Alipay payments from Alipay users.

Huge potential for European merchants

Merchants have benefitted from the influx of Chinese tourists in Europe for several years now. In 2015 alone, Chinese tourists spent $292 billion. This trend is far from reaching its peak and millions of Chinese Travelers are expected to visit Europe in the coming years.

The ability to address the specific payment requirements of Chinese customers can be a differentiating factor for merchants in retail and hospitality. Alipay is the leading payment service provider in China, with more than 450 million users, a market share of 80 percent in mobile payments. Alipay customers are typically technology-savvy and enjoy using of their mobile phone to effect fast and simple payments.

SIX and Alipay are also looking at offering value added services to merchants, with a specific focus on marketing support and customer activation in the target segment. Alipay has already embedded its ‘Global Lifestyle Platform’ in the Alipay app to connect merchants and customers.

Rita Liu, Head of Alipay Europe, said: “The cooperation with SIX gives Alipay access to a broad merchant base across Europe: potentially Alipay users will be able to pay at 110,000 additional merchants in Switzerland and beyond. As our preferred partner, SIX takes us one step further in becoming a truly globally accepted payment system.” 

Jürg Weber, Division CEO SIX Payment Services, said: “By integrating Alipay into our portfolio we take another step to ensure that SIX is the best partner for merchants. It is our strategy to be able to process all kinds of payments and Alipay as a strongly growing payment tool must be part of our portfolio. Chinese tourists demand to pay with their established solution also at European merchants. SIX is happy to offer this payment method soon.”

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Jun 8, 2021

Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days

India
Unicorns
Startups
tech
Kate Birch
2 min
We chart an historic week in India’s startup tech industry, where from April 5-9 the country achieved six unicorns

We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.

April 5: Meesho

India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.

April 6: CRED

Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.

April 7: API Holdings / Groww

The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.

April 8: ShareChat

New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.

April 9: Gupshup

AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels. 

 

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