Japan-based conglomerate Mitsui invested $12m in India-based services commerce company Suvidhaa Infoserve on Tuesday, bringing Suvidhaa’s total funding to $25m since it was founded in 2007. Mitsui’s series C investment follows a $7m series B round, in August 2010, led by the International Finance Corporation, the investment unit belonging to the World Bank, and participated in by investment firm Norwest Venture Partners and venture capital firm Reliance Venture Asset Management. Norwest and Reliance previously contributed to Suvidhaa’s series A round in September 2008. Suvidhaa has established 45,000 neighbourhood stores since its inception, known as Suvidhaa Points, in which customers can access a range of services from buying travel tickets to paying household bills and accessing the internet. Suvidhaa plans to use Mitsui’s investment to expand its stores throughout India, as well as broadening the portfolio of services it provides and updating its technology platform. Yasushi Okazaki, general manger of Mitsui’s Internet Business Division of: "We are excited in making this strategic decision to move into the field of electronic payments in India through our investment in Suvidhaa. We believe that Suvidhaa has not only proven its social value of providing an alternative payment method for the general public, but also has significant potential to expand its business into related areas, such as e-wallet and mobile payment, through the introduction of advanced internet technology."

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