Smart bank card provider IQcard raises $2.5 million from Russian and Ukrainian funds
IQcard, a Moscow-based startup offering multifunction bank cards, has raised “more than $2.5 million” in a Series A round from Paradigm Investments and TA Venture, as well as from existing investors Fastlane Ventures and Direct Group. Neither the exact amount of investment nor the startup’s valuation were disclosed.
Launched in March 2012, IQcard offers a prepaid bank card service operating on the MasterCard platform and supported by several Russian banks.
IQcard card holders may process payments and withdraw cash, receive discounts through loyalty programs, and benefit from special credit conditions.
The company has just teamed up with E5.ru, the online arm of Russia’s leading retailer X5 Retail Group, to offer IQcard users a 56-day credit of 30,000 rubles (approximately $1,000) at zero interest.
The IQcard card includes many additional features including software that enables consumers to monitor and analyze spending habits and transfer quickly money to other IQcard holders. Parents may even supervise their children’s transactions.
Expanding beyond Russia
IQcard CEO Ekaterina Konovalova said that the investment funds will be used to increase direct sales, develop a CRM system, and realize large-scale partnership projects.
The investment will also help the startup seize opportunities in new countries, said TA Venture Managing Director Viktoriya Tigipko in an exchange with East West Digital News: “For IQcard, Ukraine is one of the most promising markets. Our fund will support IQcard in developing its business and promoting its products, leveraging its deep expertise of the local market.”
TA Venture is a Kiev, Ukraine-based fund operating internationally. Moscow-headquartered Paradigm Investments is a private equity firm focused on investments in Russia and other CIS countries, primarily in the B2C sector. Fastlane Ventures and Direct Group are Moscow-based investment companies controlled by French businessman Pascal Clément.