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MID Among Investors in New Payment App

Mar 8, 2018 8:21 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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RAPAPORT... Mobile payment app Mazalit has raised $1.9 million in funding from diamond companies, and aims to begin piloting the technology in the near future.

Israel-based MID House of Diamonds, Benma Diamonds, Novel Collection and HND Diamonds are among the new investors in the start-up, founder and CEO Ze’ev Maimon told Rapaport News this week. It aims to use the money to develop its technology, as well as to launch a viable initial product. It is also seeking to get more banks on board to handle users’ transfers.

Mazalit claims to be the diamond industry’s first app for making digital payments. The name — pronounced ma-ZAHL-it — reflects its aim to speed up and ease the process of closing transactions: Diamond traders traditionally seal deals with the word “mazal,” a Hebrew phrase referring to good fortune. 

The app will enable users to finalize payment in under 10 seconds, with about 90% lower fees than most dealers currently have to pay when wiring money across borders, Maimon said in November. At that time, the company had already secured $1.2 million of the investment — from diamond logistics firm Malca Amit, and from Ari Wolff, formerly of polished manufacturer Leo Schachter.

In the upcoming pilot with MID, Mazalit will assess how the platform meets large diamond businesses’ needs. Oded Zehavi, a former executive at digital-payment companies PayPal and Payoneer, and a senior adviser to Mazalit, attended the recent Hong Kong trade fairs to discuss current payment challenges with industry members.

“We had very good feedback from clients and service providers at the Hong Kong show,” Maimon said this week. “The market is yearning for a real solution that will be acceptable [for] regulators and banks around the world, and will reduce [the] risk and cost of wires from day one.”

Maimon declined to say how much each investor had contributed, or how much equity they had each taken in the company.

Image: Oded, Dotan and David Meirov of MID, alongside Oded Zehavi.
Tags: Ari Wolff, Benma Diamonds, HND Diamonds, Hong Kong, Israel, Joshua Freedman, Leo Schachter, malca amit, Mazalit, MID, MID House of Diamonds, Novel Collection, Oded Zehavi, payment, Payoneer, PayPal, Rapaport News, technology, Ze’ev Maimon
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