PowaTag absorbs Znap

The consolidation of an industry that has barely taken off has already begun as Powa Technologies announces it has acquired MpayMe, the company behind the Znap mobile wallet.

The consolidation of an industry that has barely taken off has already begun as Powa announces it has acquired MpayMe, the company behind the Znap mobile wallet.

Powa, creator of the PowaTag mobile wallet, has snapped up MpayMe for a huge $75m.

The Znap brand will be discontinued and with combine its features to the PowaTag app.

Zanp’s bill pay feature was a big draw for Powa, which lost out on the Pitney Bowes contract to Znap, putting the PowaTag QR code on 80% of utility bills in the USA and more than half in Europe.

Powatag also gains the billing contract for Taiwanese telecom provider Taiwan Mobile.

Powa Technologies has received a total of $97m in funding rounds over the last 12 months. Its latest funding round valued it at $500m.

Powa has paid for Mpayme with 3% of its stock, putting a value of $2.7bn on the combined firm.

When asked about the number of app users Powa will gain from Mpaym directly, CEO Dan Wagner told EPI: "That’s not something we’re worried about. It’s not our concern. The fact that [Znap] doesn’t have consumers is not an issue, we didn’t buy them for the consumers."

Wagner said: "Znap would have needed a huge amount of money to market to and build up a consuer base. Powatag is in a very different position."

Similarly, Powatag has very little use on the highstreet. According to Wagner, only one merchant, fasion boutique Comptoir Des Cotonniers in Paris, has gone live with the app, out of 500 who have signed up.

Wagner also reveals to EPI that the app has been downloaded just 10,000 times around the world, with Wagner claiming the majority of these coming from iPhone customers and just a couple of thousand on Android.

The next merchants to go live with Powa will be UK based retailer JD Sports, and fashion store Morgan, part of Groupe Beaumanoir.

Wagner said: "There will be 30 brands going live in the next month. you are going to start to see it appearing in other markets and by September, Powa will be everywhere."

Unicef, Carrefour, Waitrose, Argos, the BBC and American Apparel are among organisations who are interested in Powatag.

"We’re not concerned with the number of downloads and the consumer take up. The key thing is that merchants want to be a part of it."

Wagner indicacted that another funding round would be required by Powa. Wagner is confident that this will eventually culminate in an IPO although not in 2014.

According to Wagner, Powa is in a "landgrab" and will continue to expand rapidly.

Previously in an interview with EPI Wagner said of Znap: "There are no competitors to PowaTag. Znap lets you buy things from printed pages but there are no other mobile wallets that do everything that [PowaTag] does. We pull all the things offered individually by other mobile wallets together in one platform.

"We have signed 240 merchants all around the world. Znap don’t have anybody like that. No one is using any of the other wallets.
"We have a better solution that covers everything. From that perspective it is unique. We think we have already one the wallet wars. We are too far ahead."

The Google Play store has clocked 1,000+ downloads of the PowaTag app with 42 reviews. The Play store will mark when the app reaches over 5,000 downloads. The app currently has a rating of 3.8 on the Play store.

The app has not received enough reviews on Apple’s App Store to achieved an average rating, with 13 reviews.

Alessandro Gadotti, founder and Group CEO of MPayMe, said: "The combination of Powa’s product offerings, PowaPOS, PowaWeb, and PowaTag, and the Znap mobile business platform will revolutionise global commerce, and we are very excited about the future as a single company.

"Together we can offer advanced functionality that is unrivalled anywhere in the world, and which has already been embraced by over 500 merchants and brands worldwide."

Gadotti added: "Over the coming months you will see these merchants begin to deploy the technology and both merchants and consumers will begin to reap the benefits."

Related articles:

Znap Vs. PowaTag – The mobile wallet war heats up

BillingTree and Znap launch mobile payments for auto industry

COO resigns from Clinkle after less than six months

Powa Technologies unveils flagship e-commerce product