Today, Boku announces three new carrier expansions to our global Spotify partnership, allowing millions more new mobile subscribers to sign up for Spotify Premium using only their mobile number across France, Australia, and Malaysia. Now, more than 12.6 million BYT subscribers in France can stream their favorite music using Spotify Premium, with the subscription fee appearing on their pre or post-paid mobile plan.
In Malaysia, this same functionality is coming to subscribers of Maxis Communications, the 3rd largest telecommunications provider in the country with more than 11 million subscribers.
Finally, the second largest carrier in Australia, Optus, will expand carrier billing to include Spotify Premium subscriptions for nearly 8.5 million subscribers.
The new expansions come after a year of rapid growth for the carrier billing partnership between Boku and Spotify, which also saw the companies bring direct carrier billing to Japan, Switzerland, and Germany.
Earlier this year, just ahead of Build, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now running on over 500 million devices worldwide, an incredible landmark for one of the most seamless consumer experiences ever created across mobile, desktops, laptops, and gaming consoles.
One critical component to the continued expansion and adoption of Windows 10 has been, and will continue to be, the ability for every consumer to make purchases via the Windows Store. To that end, Microsoft and Boku have been working since the launch of Windows 10 to provide carrier billing as a credit alternative for consumers in major markets worldwide – from Canada, to the UK, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Italy, France, and many more.
Through these partnerships, hundreds of millions of mobile subscribers now have the ability to make purchases across Windows 10 devices using only their mobile account. While this is an incredible benefit for current Windows users in these markets, carrier billing also opens a significant opportunity for Microsoft to attract new, paying users by providing them a mobile-only payment option within the Windows Store.
Today, Boku and Microsoft continue the global expansion of this industry-leading carrier billing partnership with three new markets: Spain, Austria, and Romania.
Longtime Boku carrier partner Orange will be leading the charge in Spain and Romania, bringing this new payment option on Windows 10 to more than 23 million mobile customers. In Austria, more than 5 million A1 mobile subscribers will now see “carrier billing” as an option the next time they log into their Windows Store account.
Today, Boku announces an expansion to bring direct carrier billing to Windows Store customers in Turkey in partnership with Turkcell, the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey. As part of Microsoft’s integration with Boku, Windows 10 customers in Turkey will be able to use their mobile account as a payment option when making purchases in the Windows Store. Customers can now make purchases across the full range of Windows 10 devices, including mobile phones, tablets, PCs, laptops, and Xbox.
Turkcell holds the largest marketshare in Turkey, with more than 34 million mobile subscribers. In addition, Turkcell serves a total of nine markets including Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and others, bringing the carrier’s total subscriber base to nearly 69 million subscribers.
Turkey’s mobile market is significant, with more than 71 million mobile phones across more than 79 million residents. Credit card penetration sits at just 33%, and debit card penetration is 43%, making carrier billing a very attractive source of revenue for online merchants like Microsoft.
Today Boku has announced that carrier-billed subscriptions for music streaming service Spotify, which launched in Japan in September, is now available across the country’s three largest carriers: KDDI, Softbank and NTT Docomo.
With this partnership more than 158 million mobile subscribers can now use their mobile phone as a payment option for their Spotify Premium subscriptions. This marks the Japanese launch of Boku’s Phone-on-File technology, which allows merchants to manage renewal charges on a user’s mobile account in the same way as they do with cards.
Spotify gains the ability to utilize carrier billing as a powerful way to acquire new Japanese customers who find using their mobile phone number for purchases to be the easiest and most secure way to pay on any device, including PC and mobile web-based purchases. Once a free Spotify Premium trial has expired, the subscription fee will automatically appear on the user’s mobile phone bill.
Today Boku is announcing an expanded agreement with Microsoft Corp. to bring Boku® direct carrier billing as a payment option to all Windows 10 devices on Beeline in Russia and Orange in Poland. As part of the expanded integration with Boku, Windows 10 customers on these carriers will be able to use their mobile phone number to save their mobile account as their preferred payment method when making any purchase in the Windows Store.
This is the first time carrier billing will be offered as a payment option for the Windows Store in these countries and will be available across a full range of devices including Window Phone, Surface Tablet and any PC or laptop running Windows 10.
Windows 10 is seeing steady growth globally, having already been installed on more than 400 million devices. Beeline Russia has over 60 Million mobile subscribers, and Orange Poland has over 16 Million mobile subscribers.
Boku, a San Francisco direct carrier billing mobile payments company, has raised $13.75 million in new VC funding. Return backers include Khosla Ventures, Benchmark Capital, NEA, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures.
Boku announced today that has raised $13.75 million in a new round of venture capital as it seeks to expand the range of carrier billing services it offers.
Based in San Francisco and founded in 2009, Boku has now raised a total of $91 million. The latest round includes many of the same marquee investors who have backed the company previously, including Khosla Ventures, Benchmark, NEA, Index Ventures, and DAG Ventures.
Silicon Valley investors are betting that a service that allows consumers to add purchases to their phone bills, will occupy a place in the growing market for electronic payments.
Carrier billing startup Boku, which has raised a $13.75 million Series E, allows merchants to bill goods as an add-on charge to customers’ phone bills. It is chiefly used by digital-content services such as Spotify, Google Play, Sony Playstation and Microsoft Windows 10.
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.
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.