Google backs Indian bounty startup Twid

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tweedAn Indian startup operating a rewards-based payment platform has raised $12 million to expand its network of merchants and issuers and expand its solution to the South Asian market.

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Rakuten Capital led the startup’s Series A round, which also included Google and existing investors including Sequoia Surge and Beenext.

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Twid allows customers to pay in offline and online stores using existing loyalty points and bonus points from banks, fintech platforms and e-commerce sites. The Bangalore-based startup partners include JioMart online store, NetMeds pharmacy, Yatra ticketing platform and music streamer Gaana.

“The problem was very simple and quite large around the world, people were getting rewarded from different places, but basically they were very similar to a locked asset,” Amit Koshal, founder and CEO of Twid, said in an interview. with TechCrunch.

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Koshal founded Twid with Rishi Batra and Amit Sharma in 2020 to create a network effect platform for the masses. The company claims to have over 40 million registered users.

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Twid co-founders Amit Sharma, Amit Koshal and Rishi Batra (left to right)

Twid Offers “Pay Rewards” Option which is available on the checkout page of an online store or retailer so that customers can use their reward points for their purchases. In this case, the reward points can come from a list of issuers and users can choose which loyalty program or reward points they want to use.

IndusInd Bank, Payback and InterMiles are some of the key issuers of reward points for Twid users. The platform also receives bonus points from Flipkart so that users can make payments with their supercoins, a term the e-commerce firm uses for its loyalty points.

Twid claims that through its issuer partners it provides access to a pool of more than $1 billion in rewards points and is present at over 50,000 merchants.

Koshal told TechCrunch that Twid controls five to eight percent of all of its trading partners’ digital transactions. The startup has also integrated its platform with payment gateways including PayU, RazorPay and CCAvenue to offer reward points-based payment across multiple online stores.

“The idea is that we can control 80% of all redemption that happens in the country,” Koshal said. The executive also said that merchants are actively integrating the Twid platform as it helps them attract customers at a low price, instead of luring them into making purchases after offering discounts or cashback.

“We return a lot of information to our partners; which categories are benefiting, what is the average order value we have increased for you, how many transactions per customer we are increasing for you,” Koshal said, adding: “Likewise, from an issuer’s point of view, the issuer has good clarity because that his scores are being used.”

Twid also helps its issuer partners optimize their offerings by highlighting which Reward Points win customers over quickly.

“When we are integrated with all these issuers, we have access to over 300 million of their customers,” he said.

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Twid shows a “Pay with Rewards” option allowing users to pay for their Reward Points.

Twid plans to use the new funds to expand its network and deepen its business, Koshal said. “Secondly, we want to build a great talent team. So we are growing in all directions,” he said. The company currently has 42 employees.

The chief noted that there are plans to strengthen the technology and “big investment” in data science. Rakuten India CEO Sunil Gopinath joins Twid’s board of directors on behalf of Rakuten Capital.

“Rakuten Capital sees huge potential and future synergies in this investment. With our global membership products being developed here in Bangalore by Rakuten India, I am thrilled to be joining the Twid Board of Directors and look forward to working with Amit Koshal, Rishi Batra, Amit Sharma and their very capable team to transform the reward system . viewed and used in India,” Gopinath said in a prepared statement.

Twid plans to use Rakuten’s experience in reward points to improve its platform.

“Whatever their [Rakuten’s] experience based on the types of products, platforms, etc. they have built, the skills they have achieved, these are the lessons we will instill from them to start building a very strong business in India,” Koshal told TechCrunch . .

In a statement to TechCrunch, Rakuten Capital said it sees huge market potential for business opportunities in the rewards industry in India and Twid is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity to build and scale its business model.

“We also look forward to bringing our technical talent to Rakuten India, which builds the Rakuten Group’s global rewards program platforms to support Twid in developing best-in-class solutions for India,” the Japanese company’s corporate venture division said in a statement. .

In parallel with Rakuten, the addition of Google is expected to help Twid expand its model of allowing customers to make purchases using their many reward points.

“Google has a long history of investing in early-stage startups in a wide variety of industries. And we are very happy to partner with reliable players like them on the journey,” Kosal said.

Last July, Twid raised $2.5 million in funding led by Beenext and Sequoia’s Surge. “What we liked when we met with the team and what we remember is that instead of building a closed-loop system, they tried to make it interchangeable and create an open-loop system,” said Hero Chowdhary, Managing Director partner of Beenext. TechCrunch, describing what made the Singapore venture capital firm support Twid from the start.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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