Zong lands $15 million in funding

Chris Caceres · April 27, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/f46

Mobile payments provider gearing up to power Facebook Credits and more

Zong, a mobile payments service, has raised $15 million in funding.  Matrix Partners led the round.  The Palo Alto-based company was formerly a division of Echovox but now said it's a standalone business.

The startup's focus falls into the very lucrative space of virtual currency for social gaming.  The company's most recent deal is quite massive.  Zong announced it is the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits, a new virtual currency platform which will be deployed across the largest social networking site in the world.  Facebook has around 400 million users and growing.

Beyond Facebook, Zong said it works with thousands of other merchants in the virtual worlds space (like IMVU), social networking (Facebook), online gaming and digital content properties.  It differentiates itself from other mobile payment companies by communing carrier billing with multiple payment sources, like credit or debit, all via a cellphone.  

The whole goal is to make the process pretty seamless for the impulse buyer and Zong has definitely seen success in this.  It converts shoppers into buyers at rates of 10 times greater than a traditional payment.  

The company said it now reaches over 1.5 billion mobile users, providing payments across 30 countries.  

How does Zong make money?  It takes a 5-10% transaction fee from every purchase.  

“We are thrilled to have the support and guidance of Matrix Partners, which has a phenomenal track record in developing select mobile, wireless and internet companies,” said David Marcus, founder and CEO, Zong.

Zong said it would use the funds to "further market leadership by accelerating the growth of its merchant network in US and international markets and through funding the rapid expansion of its mobile carrier network."

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Zong is the leading mobile payments platform for sellers of digital goods and services. Its frictionless payment experience 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 sites, such as Gaia Online, IMVU and Playdom. Reaching over 2 billion mobile users, Zong provides localized payment capabilities in over 30 countries in 16 languages. Zong is the only mobile payments platform that combines the high conversion rates of carrier billing with the low costs and flexibility of payment card networks. Zong is based in Menlo Park with offices in Paris and Geneva, and is backed by Matrix Partners, Advent Venture Partners and Newbury Ventures. For more information, please visit www.zong.com.