UK start-up Ensygnia, a mobile payments company pitching itself as the “visual equivalent of NFC”, has closed its final seed-funding round. After little more than a year since starting operations, the firm says it has raised more than $3.3 million in cash and services.
Among the principal investors is Wayra, the start-up business accelerator unit of Spanish giant Telefonica.
Wayra is providing office space, board advisors, support and mentoring, as well as “access to key Telefonica services and a significant cash contribution”, says Ensygnia.
Through its UK-patented Onescan app, mobile users can make online payments by scanning websites that are set up to work with the app.
And by only having to download their bank details once – as opposed to each time when a payment is made when a debit or credit card is used – Ensygnia is counting on Onescan’s greater convenience to spur growth.
The UK start-up says it’s using investors’ money to move out of private beta and accelerate its business internationally “with key merchant and payment partners”. Development of the firm’s UK and international Onescan patent portfolio is also on the cards.
“We have just completed one of the most successful and largest seed funding rounds for a pre-revenue, pre-product company in the UK this year and have now secured a market valuation of more than $20 million,” said Richard Harris, Ensygnia’s co-founder and chief executive.
He added that the firm has secured a “very powerful global partner” in the shape of Telefonica. “I believe we are ready for take-off,” he said, eying a “significant Series A VC investment round” as the next stage in achieving international growth.
Ensygnia was among 3,400 applicants that applied to be part of Wayra’s UK Academy in its latest selection round.
“The companies we have chosen represent the cream of the crop,” said Charmaine Eggberry, Wayra’s UK Academy director.