Mobile-Carrier Billing Provider Boku Raises $13.75M

September 1, 2016

9:32 am

Today, San Francisco based mobile payments provider Boku is announcing the successful close of a new $13.75 million round. Boku’s offering enables merchants to accept mobile payments by charging their customers’ wireless bill, rather than through a debit/credit card or wire transfer. To date, Boku has raised $91 million across six rounds since launching in 2009.

The round consists of several new and many returning investors including Khosla Ventures, Benchmark Capital, NEA, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures. The round was also supported by Andrew Black of Betfair, Robert Marwick, and Japan’s GMO Payment Gateway.

“Early on we saw an opportunity with Boku to provide a digital payment solution for the hundreds of millions of people who don’t have access to bank cards or credit cards. Carrier billing has now moved beyond this to become the preferred alternative payment method for many of the world’s largest merchants,” said Khosla Ventures Partner David Weiden.

According to a statement from the company, Boku will use the new capital to expand carrier billing across numerous carrier connections in developed and emerging markets around the globe. In the past mobile-carrier based billing was thought to be best suited for those in emerging markets, but due to partnerships with Google, Apple, Microsoft, and several other large brands, more consumer are adopting the technology.

“Boku continues to grow in emerging economies, while simultaneously executing a strategy to penetrate and grow in developed markets. The adoption of carrier billing among big companies like Google, Sony and Microsoft is accelerating now, and this investment will help Boku further cement its position as the global leader,” said Weiden.

The company is currently operating across 70 companies and reach more than four billion consumers by way of more than 250 mobile carriers. As a result they are processing transactions on a global scale with more than 40 different currencies, and hundreds of millions of dollars in online mobile payments.

“Carrier billing is evolving from being a niche product for phone-centric content into a mainstream payment method used by the world’s major brands for all types of digital products,” said Boku CEO Jon Prideaux. “The world’s biggest tech companies see tremendous potential in the power of the phone as a source of funds.  Better technology and increased consumer awareness are ensuring that this new payment method is being used more widely and is undoubted proof that carrier billing is becoming the world’s preferred alternative payment, regardless of consumer access to credit or bank cards.”

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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.

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