Powa raises $80M through Wellington to launch in US

Powa raises $80M through Wellington to launch in US

10 NOV 2014

Wellington Management has invested a further $80 million in UK-based mobile payments and e-commerce company Powa Technologies, which will help it with its US launch plans, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Last year Wellington invested $76 million in the company and in the fresh round estimated that Powa has a valuation of around $2.7 billion.

Powa lets registered users buy items that have a ‘Powa Tag’ by taking a picture of an advertisement in print or online, or through audio watermarks embedded in TV and radio broadcasts.

Customers add their credit cards to the service in order to make payments. This means they don’t have to add card details every time they make a transaction. The details are cloud-based rather than stored on the user’s phone.

Powa founder CEO Dan Wagner told the Wall Street Journal that the investment is “a huge injection of capital and vote of confidence,” adding that “we want to become the ubiquitous platform for mobile commerce and payments.”

While Powa will be competing with the likes of Square and Shopify in the US to convince merchants to adopt its platform, it will also have to consider the impact the success of Apple Pay and Google Wallet will have on its launch, not to mention the many start-ups that are trying to get a foothold in the mobile payments market.

However, Wagner is confident about Powa and believes that “if you get the engagement with the merchants, then consumers will follow… We’re about selling, we’re not about payments.”

He has also said that Powa has already signed 970 merchants such as Adidas and Unilever and is adding around 150 more to its portfolio every month. He added that the company is planning an IPO for 2016.

Wellington did not comment but its investments in Powa are the first time it has delved into mobile payments.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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