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India's MobiKwik to invest $45 million to expand user base

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian digital payments firm MobiKwik will invest 3 billion rupees ($44.89 million) this year to expand its user base and rack up $10 billion worth of transactions on its platform, it said in a statement on Thursday.

MobiKwik and Alibaba-backed bigger rival Paytm have been among the biggest beneficiaries of India’s drive to ban high-value currency notes late last year as more and more people used digital wallets to buy everything from groceries to fuel.

MobiKwik said the investment will help it triple its user base to 150 million and drive up annual gross merchandise value, or the total value of transactions on its platform, by year end from the current $2 billion.

The company is in talks to raise more funds at a level that would give the start-up a $1 billion valuation, its chief executive told Reuters earlier this month.

MobiKwik’s current investors include U.S. technology venture capital investor Sequoia Capital, Taiwan’s MediaTek, Japan’s GMO Venture Partners, hedge fund Tree Line Asia and South Africa’s Net1.

($1 = 66.8325 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal and Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Sunil Nair