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US-based mobile payments firm Boku acquires mobile billing aggregator Qubecell

Mumbai-based Spunk Media Pvt Ltd, which runs the online mobile billing aggregator Qubecell, has been acquired by San Fransisco-based mobile payments company Boku. This is Boku’s first acquisition and it will allow the company to get all major carriers in India and enhance its presence in Asia. 

The specifics of the deal have not been disclosed. As per a report in Techcrunch Boku stated that Qubecell already has deals with four of the largest mobile networks in the country, which enables it to reach around 75 per cent of the country’s mobile phone users (pegged to be around 550 million). This user-base will in turn become Boku’s potential market. The deal will make Boku the country’s largest carrier billing provider. Qubecell’s reach in Indian market was the biggest trigger for the acquisition. 

Qubecell offers mobile payment services through carrier billing. It also caters to mobile app developers and mobile publishers, providing a bouquet of services such as event billing and daily, weekly or monthly subscriptions at various price points. Plus, there is an analytics platform that offers real-time customer information to merchants, based on device, browser, network, location, historical behaviour and more. In April this year, Qubecell raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from multiple investors. The round was led by Kae Capital, with participation from Mumbai Angels, Blume Ventures and Russian investor TA Ventures. The company was founded by Ranjan Reddy in 2012. Prior to starting Qubecell, Reddy was working as director at BrandPotion, an advertising company. Before that he was VP- global sales at Neomobile. Post acquisition, Qubecell's employees and Reddy will be joining Boku.

Boku was founded in 2009 after two startups Paymo and Mobillcash were merged. To date, Boku has raised $75 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Telefonica, and more.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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