Boku, the U.S.-based company that enables consumers to pay for goods via their phone bill or phone credit, has made another land grab in Europe with the acquisition of Italy’s Mobileview Italia from parent company dtms. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
The purchase gives Boku access to all four of the major mobile carriers in Italy — Telecom Italia Mobile, Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (Hutchinson) — covering more than 87 million mobile subscriptions.
Italy, like a number of other European countries, is seen as a significant market for carrier billing due to relatively low penetration of credit cards (34 per cent) and, conversely, high penetration of mobile phones. The purchase of Mobileview Italia also follows similar moves by Boku in an attempt to expand by acquisition.
The company, which is backed by the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and NEA, acquired German-based European competitor Mopay in July 2014, making it the leading carrier billing company with a potential market of 5 billion subscribers, by its own estimates at least.
(Noteworthy, Boku now claims coverage of 4 billion potential subscribers across 67 different countries and more than 250 operators, so either it’s lost a billion subscribers somewhere along the line or the PR was over egged at the time of the Mopay acquisition).
The previous year, Boku acquired Qubecell, India’s largest carrier billing company, as means to expansion in India, Asia and the Middle East.