Investcorp Acquires Digital Payments Platform MIR

Will life get MuchBetter for the Isle of Man-based digital payments platform and e-wallet solutions provider?

Investcorp Technology Partners (ITP) has completed the acquisition of all of the business and assets of Isle of Man-based digital payments platform and e-wallet solutions provider MIR Limited.

Financial details about the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2016, MIR is a fintech business with more than one million registered users in 180 countries, including customers in the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands. Its offering includes wearable contactless payment technology which integrates with its e-wallet and Mastercard-branded prepaid debit cards.

ITP is a provider and manager of alternative investment products. Its headquarters are in Bahrain but it has offices in London, New York, Singapore, et al.

MIR will continue to maintain its headquarters in the Isle of Man with further offices in seven countries. Israel Rosenthal, the founder of MIR, will remain as CEO. Gilbert Kamieniecky and Georg Knoflach will represent Investcorp on the board of MIR.

There are no specifics but Knoflach, Investcorp’s Managing Director, says: “We see many exciting opportunities ahead – both organic and inorganic – and are looking forward to working with Mr. Rosenthal to take the business to the next stage in its development.”

According to MIR’s website, it specialises in concept creation, product development, operational support and program management of co-branded e-wallets and white-labelled card programs. It offers MuchBetter, an e-wallet app founded in 2017 and aimed at customers and merchants.

MIR mentions some partnerships on its website. One was in 2017, under its brand MuchBetter, where it partnered with GPS (a payment issuer processor) and DIGISEQ (an NFC provisioning company) to support Lucozade Energy in producing a paytech bottle that was distributed free at major London train stations and commuter hotspots. Each bottle included a contactless payment chip preloaded with a credit to pay for one journey on the London Underground.

In 2019 MIR partnered with Cambridge-based high-tech fashion start-up, DressCode, to launch “the world’s first smart shirt”. The CashCuff enables contactless payments from the cuff with no extra device required.

MIR’s most recent example is with Winwatch – “the world’s first analogue watch with contactless payment functionality”. MIR explains that Winwatch is the first company to seal a payment chip (EMV) and antenna within a glass watch face, “the kind of technology jump you may expect from a Q-made James Bond watch”. The spectre of Bond is often used to bring some excitement to the world of technology.

Insight on Investcorp

Investcorp (through ITP) invests in lower mid-market technology companies with a specific focus on the data/analytics, IT security and fintech/payment sectors.

Its other investments from its latest technology fund include Ubisense’s SmartSpace, the enterprise software and sensor real-time location solutions platform; softgarden, a human resources software provider; Calligo, a proprietary cloud solution company; Ageras, an online marketplace matching SMEs with professional service providers; Impero, a provider of online student safety and classroom and network management software; Contentserv, a product information management solutions provider; and Avira, a multinational cybersecurity Internet of Things software solutions firm.

Just last week, Investcorp completed its sale of contingent workforce management company PRO Unlimited to EQT Private Equity, a global investment firm, for an undisclosed sum.

Investcorp has been around since 1982 and has a presence in 12 countries across the US, Europe, the GCC and Asia, including India, China and Singapore. As of 30 June 2021, Investcorp Group had $37.6 billion (£27.2 billion) in total AUM, including assets managed by third party managers, and employed approximately 430 people from 45 nationalities globally across its offices.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.
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