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Today Boku is pleased to announce that it 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, including Khosla Ventures, Benchmark Capital, NEA, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures, in addition to a 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.
Today Boku is announcing an expansion of their partnership with Google and Bite to bring carrier billing as a payment option for all purchases made on Google Play. Eligible purchases include: apps, in app purchases, games, music, movies and books. Bite is Lithuania’s 3rd largest cell phone carrier, and Lithuania’s low card penetration make it a perfect candidate for Boku and Google to team up and provide carrier billing as a payment option in Google Play.
Microsoft has expanded its agreement with Boku to launch carrier billing as a payment option for all Windows Store purchases made on Windows 10 devices in the UK, through a partnership with O2, and Italy, through a partnership with Wind, starting on Aug 11th. This expansion comes quick on the heels of Microsoft and Boku launching in other key developed markets, including US, Germany and Switzerland.
Boku expanded its partnership with Microsoft to launch carrier billing to Windows Store users from two mobile carriers in the UK and Italy.
The partnership will allow eligible customers to use the service, which allows them to charge purchases made in a phone’s app or content store to their monthly mobile bill, on any Windows 10 device. The news expands the Boku-Microsoft partnership to five markets, and is indicative of the ways carrier billing is catching on in developed markets because of the convenience it provides in online and mobile purchasing.
Carrier billing provider Boku is expanding its partnership with Microsoft to customers in the U.K. and Italy.
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Microsoft and Boku have announced that carrier billing support for the Windows Store has been added for customers in the UK on O2, and in Italy on Wind, for Windows 10 PC and Mobile devices.
Microsoft and Boku previously teamed up to offer carrier billing on the Windows Store in the U.S., via Sprint. In today’s press release, Boku stated:
In the Windows Store, Microsoft customers can easily set up their account to use direct carrier billing as the default payment method. Once a phone number has been authenticated and saved, customers are free to purchase all types of digital content – apps, software, games, music and video – on any Windows device and have the charges go straight to their mobile operator account. Best of all, once direct carrier billing is enabled as a payment instrument, all future purchases in Windows Store will be conveniently debited from a prepaid balance or added to the monthly phone bill automatically.
Download full press release (PDF)
Today, Boku announced a significant expansion of our relationship with Microsoft in two key European markets, the UK and Italy, adding carrier billing as a payment option for Windows Store purchases made on Windows 10 devices.
Now, O2 subscribers in the UK and Wind subscribers in Italy can purchase apps, software, movies, music, games and more on any Windows 10 device including mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and laptops using only their phone number.
This expansion comes quick on the heels of our deal with Microsoft in other key developed markets – the US, Germany and Switzerland – proof that carrier billing is the alternative payment of choice in developed and emerging markets alike.
The new Windows Store is available in 242 markets worldwide, and this is the first time carrier billing will be offered as a payment option for Windows 10 devices in the UK and Italy. Windows 10 is also seeing steady growth globally, having already been installed on more than 350 million devices.
Today Boku is announcing the expansion of carrier billing for streaming music lovers with key carrier partnerships in Germany. Now every major carrier in Germany is allowing their subscribers to gain access to Spotify Premium and set up recurring payments using only their mobile number. With this deal, Spotify now offers customers in Germany a carrier billing option for digital their music purchases.
Today Boku is announcing the expansion of carrier billing for streaming music lovers with key carrier partnership in Ireland. Starting 1st July 2016, Boku’s new partnership with Three will enable the subscribers to gain access to one of Ireland’s most popular streaming music services: Deezer. In addition to having the option of making Deezer purchases using only their mobile phone number, Three customers in Ireland can subscribe for a free trial of Deezer Premium Plus.
This morning, Boku and Verteda announced a new partnership to bring carrier billing into every football fan’s favorite app: Qjacker. This new partnership will allow fans across the UK on any of the major carriers to charge food and beverages directly to their mobile account using only the Qjacker app – no need to wait in line, no need to enter a credit or bank card. Fans don’t even need to enter their phone number – just download Qjacker, place your order, select “Charge to mobile”, and skip the line to pick up food while it’s still hot and drinks while they are still cold.
This is the first time UK mobile subscribers can purchase real-world goods simply by storing their mobile phone number in the app and charging all purchases to their pre or post-paid mobile account. Leveraging the immediacy and low friction of mobile checkout to streamline the physical purchase process is the next great frontier in payments, and Verteda is leading the way with Qjacker.
Boku is the only carrier billing provider to secure an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority and develop a model that enables the company to provide carrier billing for the purchase of physical goods. The company’s license also applies to each country in the European Union as well countries in the European Economic Area, which could allow for future expansions of the kinds of services offered via Qjacker.
To learn more about the partnership, read our press release with Verteda here.