Nokia invests $70M in Obopay

Nokia is investing a large amount of money, presumed to be around $70 million, in mobile payment firm Obopay, lending its clout to the burgeoning mobile payment industry.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed, but Obopay, a Redwood City, Calif.-based company, made a regulatory filing earlier this week showing the sale of $70 million worth of preferred stock. In addition, Nokia's head of corporate business development, Teppo Paavolo, will be seated on Obopay's board of directors.

Obopay, which currently operates in the United States and India, allows people to fund accounts with cash or by linking the account to a credit card. Users can then send money via text message. Those receiving the money can then sign up for an Obopay account of their own or just transfer the money directly to an account. Obopay charges a 25 cent fee to send up to $1,000 and no fee to receive the money. The value of mobile payments will exceed $300 billion internationally by 2013, according to a recent report by Juniper Research. 

There are other competing mobile payment services out on the market, including mFoundry, which is backed by, among others, Motorola and eBay's PayPal, and was a FierceWireless Fierce 15 winner in 2008.  

For more:
- see this FT article
- see this article

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