We’ve been tracking mobile payments provider Zong since 2008 – in a nutshell, it lets you pay for things, particularly virtual goods online, via direct billing to your mobile phone. Despite heavy competition from well-backed boku, the service has emerged as a leader in alternative payments. Facebook likes them so much they made them the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits.
See our post Mobile Payments Getting Traction On Social Networks, But Fees Are Sky High from last year for a deeper dive on their business.
Early this year the company was spun off from its European parent, Echovox, and Echovox founder David Marcus moved to the U.S. to run the fast growing Zong. The company has now closed a new round of financing, its first as an independent company. Matrix Partners led the $15 million round, and partner Dana Stadler joined Zong’s board of directors.
Stadler is a big win for Zong. He’s the former Chief Technology Officer of PayPal and will, says Marcus, be extremely helpful as the company scales the volume of payments. Last year Zong also started expanding beyond mobile payments by allowing users to bill goods to credit, debit and prepaid cards. As that expansion progresses, the company will need resources to do that intelligently. Stadler, who initiated projects at PayPal including PayPal Mobile and the PayPal Developer Platform, will certainly guide them in the right direction.
Zong, the leading mobile payment service used by online gaming and social networking web sites, converts shoppers into buyers at rates up to 10 times greater than traditional payment methods. Zong leverages direct connections with mobile network operators around the world to provide a secure payment solution with unrivaled connectivity and service quality. Zong is the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits and also works with hundreds of leading destination websites and mobile applications including Gaia Online, IMVU and Playdom. Reaching...
Matrix Partners is a US based private equity investment firm focusing on venture capital investments. The firm invests in seed and early stage companies in the software, communications, semiconductors, data storage, Internet and wireless sectors. Matrix Partners has offices in Waltham, MA, Palo Alto, CA, Mumbai, India and Beijing, China.
Dana Stalder is the Board Member at Irise. He is also a General Partner at Matrix Partners. Dana Stalder is a general partner in the West coast office of Matrix Partners, a premier, early stage venture capital firm which fosters long term partnerships with entrepreneurs and helps them build industry-leading technology companies. Prior to joining Matrix, Stalder was a senior vice president at PayPal in charge of product, sales, marketing and technology. Previously he served as Vice President of Finance, Internet...