Grab acquires Bangalore-based startup iKaaz to speed up its payments platform growth

The acquisition is to support Grab’s goal of becoming Southeast Asia’s universal payments platform.

Ride-hailing firm Grab has acquired Bangalore-based payments startup iKaaz to support its goal of becoming the region’s universal payments platform, said a statement on Wednesday (Jan 17).

Grab said that iKaaz will help to accelerate feature development and partner integration of GrabPay, its own payments platform.

iKaaz was launched in 2014 and its technology was built to enable effortless and fast payments for merchants amidst India’s challenging Internet conditions.

Its technology stack encompasses NFC, QR-code, audio-based payments as well as bill payments, online payments and P2P.

“This flexibility and scalability make it ideally suited for Southeast Asia’s diverse payments landscape and large unbanked population,” said the statement.

GrabPay Southeast Asia managing director Jason Thompson said: “iKaaz’ technology has served merchants and partners across different industries and in different settings, from parking lots and airports to retail stores and hotels.”

“This rich set of offline payments features offers the flexibility needed to tailor our GrabPay platform to each country and partner in Southeast Asia.”

Following the completion of the acquisition, the iKaaz team will join Grab’s Bangalore R&D centre, which opened in March last year to serve as a centre of excellence for payments.

The centre currently has 75 engineers and Grab plans to hire 200 more by the end of the year.