Mitsui&Co has invested $12 million in Suvidhaa Infoserve, an internet-based payment collection system, which is also backed by the International Finance Corporation. Suvidhaa primarily targets large bottom-of-the-pyramid and ‘non-internet savy’ consumers that require easy payment mechanisms. Such services helps promote financial and digital inclusion among India’s large low-income population.

Mitsui & Co has invested $12Mn in IFC backed Suvidhaa Infoserve for a minority stake.

Suvidhaa Infoserve provides Internet-based payment collection services for various industries, including mobile telephone services, electric power, gas, insurance and e-commerce. Currently, 45,000 retail outlets serve as cash collection points, but the company plans to increase the number of collection points to 100,000 over the next two years and to expand its services throughout India.

The company, promoted by Paresh Rajde, is backed by the Shapoorji Pallonji group and calls itself a services commerce (S-Commerce) firm. It mainly targets the large bottom of the pyramid and non-internet savvy consumers who will benefit from the one-stop shopping including payment mechanism.

It raised $5mn from IFC in March’2010, Before that, it raised undisclosed amount of funding from Reliance Technology Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners India in 2008.

Suvidhaa has tied up with IRCTC for railway ticketing and all the major airlines to provide its services. Besides, it has tied up Fun Cinemas, insurance providers like LIC, ICICI Prudential, DTH service providers like Tata Sky and Dish TV and utility players such as BSNL, BSES, Reliance Energy and others.

According to Indiainfoline, Mitsui has decided to participate in the on-line payment collection business in India, both because of the social value of providing a new payment method for the general public in partnership with the World Bank Group, and also because of the opportunity to expand from payment collection services into related areas, such as domestic remittance, e-wallet and mobile payment services, through the introduction of advanced Internet technology.