The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Opus Capital, BlackBerry Partners Fund and RRE Ventures are among the investors.
NEW YORK — August 2, 2010 — Payfone today announced the closing of its Series B financing. Opus Capital and BlackBerry Partners Fund join founding Series A investor RRE Ventures in an $11 million round. Bob Borchers of Opus Capital and Kevin Talbot of BlackBerry Partners Fund will join Payfone’s Board of Directors in connection with this financing.
Payfone has built the world’s first and only mobile payments platform that leverages the capabilities of existing inter-operator networks. Designed from the backbone of the mobile operator network, Payfone uses signaling and global operator standards to deliver advanced payment and billing capabilities that meet the needs of today’s mobile ecosystem. Utilizing these standards, Payfone connects the world’s leading application stores and content brands to mobile operators via existing network infrastructure.
Payfone enables online merchants, mobile application stores and brands to extend their reach, conversion and yield all around the globe. The consumer benefits from the simplicity of paying with only a phone number for purchases that are then billed directly to the consumer’s prepaid or post-paid mobile account. Payfone’s high fidelity platform doesn’t rely on “Premium SMS”, fixed price points or complicated bill presentment. Instead it enables one-click mobile billing for online and mobile purchases globally with real-time fraud prevention and detailed billing records.
“Mobile payments today are plagued by fraud and failure,” said Rodger Desai, Payfone’s CEO. “Payfone was built from the ground up with carrier-grade network technologies that enable highly scalable and reliable one-click mobile billing, and new, never before used factors of authentication. Payfone delivers tremendous value to merchants, operators and consumers.”
“Rodger and the Payfone team have created a revolutionary platform for mobile payments that can immediately tap into the billions of dollars being spent on digital and virtual goods today,” said Bob Borchers, General Partner at Opus Capital. “We are excited to help Payfone grow into the global leader in mobile payments.”
The company plans to use the funds to scale its presence across EMEA, Latin America and Asia.
Payfone powers mobile billing for the world’s top app stores and content storefronts in a way that has never been done before. Payfone enables new revenue streams and access to the exploding app store, digital content and virtual goods markets. Unlike legacy mobile billing methods, Payfone leverages global standards and inter-operator networks to create a new mobile billing method that makes transactions more efficient and reliable. The Payfone Merchant Hub includes over 300,000 merchants as well as the world’s leading app stores and content brands. Additional information is available at www.payfone.com.
About Opus Capital
Opus Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm with more than $1 billion of committed capital under management, investing in committed, high integrity entrepreneurs building market-leading technology companies. The team has participated in the successful outcomes of more than 80 companies (including 50 IPOs) in the US and Israel including Adaptec, AirGate PCS, BlueNile, Brocade, Ciena, DoubleClick, Electronics for Imaging, FedEx, Genesys, Harmonic, Informatica, Kidaro and Vantive. Opus Capital is headquartered on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California. For more information, visit www.opuscapital.com.
About BlackBerry Partners Fund
BlackBerry Partners Fund is the leading independent venture capital firm focused exclusively on mobile computing. In collaboration with Research In Motion, along with Thomson Reuters and Royal Bank of Canada, the global fund brings capital, resources and unparalleled domain expertise to the partnerships it forms with exceptional entrepreneurs around the world who are shaping the future of the mobile eco-system. The Fund has an investment footprint throughout North America, the United Kingdom and Israel and will begin investing in China later in 2010 through its affiliate, BlackBerry Partners Fund China. For more information visit: www.blackberrypartnersfund.com.
About RRE Ventures
Founded in 1994, RRE Ventures is a leading New York City-based venture capital firm. RRE focuses on helping extraordinary entrepreneurs and management teams build great companies in large, dynamic markets with a particular interest in companies that enable one of New York City’s seven key industries. RRE has $850 million under management across four funds and maintains a network of Senior Advisors who offer our portfolio companies unparalleled access to the highest levels of leadership across many global businesses and organizations. RRE is located in midtown Manhattan and has invested in over 40 New York metro area startups. For more information, visit www.rre.com.