Citcon raises $30M to make paying with mobile wallets ‘as easy as paying with a credit card’ – TechCrunch

Citcon, a mobile wallet provider for payment, has secured $30 million funding in a Series C round led by Norwest Venture Partners, Cota Capital, and Cota Capital.
The financing was also completed by SonaeIM and Sierra Ventures, which bring the total amount raised by San Jose-based Citcons since 2015 to almost $50 million.

According to Chuck Huang, CEO and founder of Citcons, the company's mission is simple: To allow merchants to accept mobile wallet payments and other currencies with the same ease that they process credit card payments.

Huang worked as a lead system architect for Visa for four years before launching Citcon. He was responsible to the design and development of several products including the mobile payment gateway and card-based rewards redemption platforms.

Citcon was founded on the belief that mobile payments offer a safer, more secure, and user-friendly contactless shopping experience and payment experience for merchants and consumers. That was before the COVID-19 epidemic accelerated the growth in contactless payments.

Citcon clearly is doing something right. Citcon's annualized payment volume, which is approximately $1 billion, has seen a 300% increase in year-over-year growth as 2021 comes to an end. Huang also stated that revenue has increased by the same percentage.

The startup's payment technology integrates with POS and ecommerce systems like SAP, Oracle, Cegid Shopify, Shopify, and Toshiba. It is also used at over 30,000 merchants locations, such as LOral, Tumi and Texas Instruments, Macys, Panda Express, and Macys.

Huang claims that Citcon offers something Apple Pay and Google Pay don't offer: Citcon.

He explained that ours is software-based, so unlike Apple Pay and Google Pay, there's no need to have a bank account or credit card attached. We offer a single API that allows for mobile payment and other methods of payment (APMs).

Huang explained that traditional payment infrastructure wasn't designed to accept mobile wallets, so merchants had to do a lot more implementation. Citcon only integrates with a merchant's API, allowing them to accept more than 100 mobile wallets from around the globe.

Huang says that the trend towards software-based wallets has been growing globally in recent years. Citcon is ready to capitalize on this trend.

This type of wallet is becoming more popular in China, Huang said to TechCrunch. China is almost cash-free and many Chinese people use it. The startup has partnered with PayPal/Venmo in the U.S. to make this software wallet available to its users. Klarna has also been a partner to help create a buy-now, pay-late wallet.

Citcon intends to expand internationally with its new capital. It plans to increase its 100-strong headcount. Citcon already has offices in the U.S. and Canada as well as Europe, Asia, and Europe. It is looking to expand rapidly overseas, with a special focus on Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

Priti Youssef, a partner at Norwest Venture Partners, said that her company was drawn to Citcons' leadership team as a result of their initial meeting. She described Huang, president and COO Wei Jang, as thought leaders in payments. She noted that the pair are both Chinese-born and can offer an international perspective on how mobile wallets might evolve in the U.S.

She wrote via email that this is important as there are many key themes converging on mobile payments in the U.S. as well abroad. Mobile wallets have become the most popular form of payment worldwide, surpassing credit cards. Active mobile wallets are expected to increase from 2.8 billion to 4.8 billion by 2025.

They are quickly growing in popularity in the U.S. due to new wallets (such crypto, buy now and pay later platforms and and neobank wallets). This is because younger consumers and merchants have shifted towards contactless payments as a result of the pandemic, Choksi said.

She was also impressed with the company's ability to navigate compliance issues surrounding each country and wallet it operates in.

Choksi stated that this is especially important due to the regulation of payment flows around the globe and in the U.S.

Ben Malka, a partner at Cota Capital, said that his company has been closely following the trends in alternative tender types usage both globally and in America.

He said that while we think we are still in our early innings, there is tremendous market potential to allow different payment types. We were impressed by Chuck and his team. They have the experience and business acumen to create a global payments company.