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Telefónica and Boku unveil global mobile payments partnership

Telefónica makes a strategic investment in BOKU through its Digital division

15 March 2012Telefónica Digital today announces a strategic agreement with BOKU, the global leader in online mobile payments, to enhance its payments capabilities. The agreement, which also sees Telefónica participate as a strategic investor in BOKU’s latest funding round, is a significant development as Telefónica gears up for the launch of its mobile wallet services. The partnership opens up access for BOKU to Telefónica’s global footprint of 25 markets and 300 million customers, while providing Telefónica with access to BOKU’s expertise in secure and reliable online mobile payments.

BOKU has pioneered the use of mobile as a payments mechanism, creating a network of merchants and a method of quickly and easily paying for virtual goods via the customer’s mobile phone bill. Its recently launched BOKU Accounts service expands this, enabling offline purchases in physical stores.

Under the terms of the agreement, BOKU will become Telefónica’s preferred mobile payments partner and Telefónica will extend its relationship with BOKU across its operating businesses. The partnership will provide Telefónica with access to BOKU’s merchant network, expanding the number of places customers will be able to use their Telefónica mobile wallet for purchases. It will also enable an enhanced user experience for online and offline payments, while also improving Telefónica’s own direct to bill capabilities.

'Payments are going mobile and we want to be at the forefront of this trend,' said Matthew Key, Chairman & CEO, Telefónica Digital. 'BOKU has quickly established itself as a true innovator in the mobile commerce space and this investment and partnership gives us access to their tools, infrastructure and know how, ideally complementing our own mobile payments expertise. Working with BOKU will allow us to both enhance our operator billing capabilities and the overall payment experience through our future mobile wallet services.'

'BOKU is proud to partner with Telefónica to increase the adoption of mobile operator billing amongst consumers and merchants across the World,' said Mark Britto, CEO, BOKU Inc. 'We are excited to be working closely with Telefónica to develop an optimal mobile payments solution. This partnership will benefit consumers in several ways, giving them a quicker, easier way to pay across all their connected devices and a better deal at their favorite merchants.'

Telefónica joined other investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures in raising additional funding, totalling $35m for BOKU. The investment was led for Telefónica by Tracy Isacke who runs VC activities within its Digital unit and is based in Silicon Valley. This is the third investment made by Telefónica Digital since its creation in September 2011.

About Telefónica Digital

Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Telefónica. Its mission is to seize the opportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefónica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and financial services. Telefónica Digital will deliver these innovative products and services to Telefónica’s 300 million customers as well as leveraging the power of the internet to enter new markets. It is headquartered in London with regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Spain and Tel Aviv. Jajah, Terra, Tuenti, Media Networks Latin America and giffgaff are all part of the Telefónica Digital group of companies.

For further information, please contact:

Nick Wilkins                                                       Jose Maria Hoyos Melendre

Telefónica Digital                                              Telefónica Press Office

Tel: +44 7712 020937                                     Tel: +34 91 482 87 85

Email:                            Email:



About BOKU

BOKU, the leading online mobile payments company, brings bank-grade payments technology and mobile users together, creating a trusted, accessible platform for consumers, merchants and carriers alike.  Based in San Francisco with offices in Europe and Asia, BOKU reaches nearly 4 billion consumers worldwide, across 66 different countries. . Leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists fund BOKU including Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. For more information visit:

BOKU website:

Media Kit:  

Contact Information

For BOKU, Inc. in the United Kingdom

Sami McCabe, +44 (0) 20 7099 6975


For BOKU, Inc. in the United States
David Speiser, 650-516-6635