Mobile payment company Obopay Inc has secured a $20 million in a fourth round of investment led by India’s Essar Communications Holdings, and included Alliance Bernstein, ONSET Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Richmond Management, Citi, Societe Generale, Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) and Promethian India. Obopay has also named K.B. Rajendran, SVP Essar Global and Robert G Hottensen Jr, SVP (Public Equity) at Olayan America Corporation as new members of its board of directors. There had been reports last year of Promethean Investing $5 million in Obopay India, but there’s no confirmation of whether that happened. [via release and GigaOm]
Obopay had raised around $48 million in its first three rounds; James Pearce, at mocoNews mentions that Obopay wants to become the Western Union/PayPal of the mobile world, and in order to do that it had to get 41 licenses to become a registered money transfer agent just in the US.
I think the involvement of Indian companies in this round is significant, particularly for Obopay’s operations in India: The Essar group is a shareholder in Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) India (earlier Hutch-Essar), and also is reportedly behind Loop Telecom. Essar is also in the mobile retail business – in partnership with Virgin, they’ve launched The Mobile Store in India.