Telefonica Digital boosts m-pay goals with BOKU investment

Telefonica Digital is one of almost ten new investors in mobile payments firm BOKU, which has lifted its total funding to $75 million (€57.4 million) with a fresh round of investment worth $35 million.
The Spanish operator’s innovation arm participated in the latest funding round as part of an agreement aimed at boosting its mobile wallet services by tapping BOKU’s experience in online mobile payments. The deal sees the m-pay firm become Telefonica’s preferred payments partner, and opens the door to its merchant network to the telco.
Matthew Key, chairman and chief executive of Telefonica Digital, says the agreement helps the firm to be at the forefront of the mobile payment trend. “[T]his investment and partnership gives us access to their tools, infrastructure and know how,” he says, adding that the deal enables the telco to enhance its “operator billing capabilities and the overall payment experience through our future mobile wallet services.”
Other companies contributing to BOKU’s latest funding round include New Enterprise Associates, Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and the firm’s existing investors. Chief executive Mark Britto hailed the injection as a “clear vote of confidence,” in the firm’s bank-grade mobile billing system. The finance “will help us expand our business as well as facilitate the growth of our new BOKU Accounts platform,” he adds.
The firm currently has partnerships with 250 mobile network operators, with operations in 67 countries.
Telefonica Digital forged a partnership with Sybase 365 in February to boost its mobile wallet ambitions, and aims to launch services in Europe and Latin America during 1H12.