SAN FRANCISCO — Boku, the world’s largest direct carrier billing mobile payments company, has secured $13.75 million in further venture funding to expand carrier billing across numerous carrier connections in developed and emerging markets around the globe.
Several of Boku’s existing venture investors from Silicon Valley have followed on with their investments in Boku, including Khosla Ventures, Benchmark Capital, NEA, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures, in addition to other new and existing investors in the UK, US and Asia. This new portion of venture funding, which was oversubscribed from Boku’s initial financing plans, brings the total amount Boku has raised to $91 million since its founding in 2009.
The funding will allow Boku to build and activate new waves of carrier connections across the globe, providing millions of new cell phone subscribers to fuel Boku’s growth. Historically carrier billing was viewed as the preferred payment method for consumers in emerging markets; those with little or no access to credit cards or bankcards to participate in ecommerce. Recently, Boku has seen explosive growth in developed markets through partnerships with premier merchants and carriers making carrier billing the preferred alternative payment option for both developed and emerging economies.
David Weiden, Partner at Khosla Ventures, said: “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.
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.”
Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku, commented: “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.
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.”