Boku Raises $25 Million, Plans for More Global Expansion

Boku has emerged as one of the main mobile payment service providers for social games in the last year, and today it is capitalizing on its growth, announcing a third round of $25 million. DAG Ventures led the funding, previous investors Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures participated.

The company is also rebranding itself to consumers as Paymo, the name of one of the mobile payment companies that had been rolled up to create Boku earlier this year.

The service is live in nearly 60 countries and on 190 carriers today, marketing head Ron Hirson tells us, and the company is seeing new revenue coming in from South America, Asia and other parts of the world. Clients now include large social game developers like Playdom (screenshot from its game, Sorority Life, below), Playfish and Hong Kong-based 6 Waves, along with long-time ones like Zynga.

Boku’s service lets you bill your mobile phone for online payments. You enter your number and the amount of points you want to buy, then Boku sends a text message to your phone confirming the bill. Once you confirm, the company charges your phone and you’ll see the charge on your monthly bill. Although it can be used in a variety of purchasing contexts, this method of payment has proven most popular with users looking to buy small amounts of virtual currency so they can buy goods in a game. Typically, 10% to 15% of in-game payments go through mobile services like this. Boku’s rivals, in one form or another, include Zong, Surfpin and Obopay.

The main rival, Zong, is also live with many of the same game developers, meaning that game companies are trying to offer payment options through whichever mobile payment service users happen to prefer.

The new money will go towards more global expansion, Hirson says, with the company continuing to build out its technology, business relationships and customer support. He notes that as the company has expanded, it has also done well against local mobile payments competitors, especially in Asia. Boku could see especially significant revenue growth in the region, given the popularity of social games across much of Asia, as well as the established popularity of virtual good in some Asian countries.

Creative Social Branding

Mediabistro Course

Creative Social Branding

Starting November 24, learn how to create a social buzz for your brand! You’ll learn how to engage with audiences on social platforms, identify and engage with current trends and influencers, and build an excellent social strategy to amplify your numbers and rate engagement. Register now!


Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “Boku Raises $25 Million, Plans for More Global Expansion”

  1. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Social Games says:

    [...] Boku Raises $25 Million, Plans for More Global Expansion [...]

  2. Mobile Payments Provider Zong Raises $15 Million In Its First Venture Round says:

    [...] round comes about three months after Zong’s biggest rival, Boku, took its own $25 million funding. Zong’s CEO, David Marcus, tells us that his company plans to use the money for a hiring [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside social games?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Social Media Strategist

A Luxury Real Estate Developer
New York, NY

Newswire Editor
New York City / Long Island, NY

Senior Social Media Brand Manager-Los Angeles Area

Brigade Marketing
Los Angeles, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us