Eduardo Saverin leads $6.5 million for Jumio

Ronny Kerr · March 18, 2011 · Short URL:

Yet another online and mobile payment solution, but this one wants to be revolutionary

Jumio, an online and mobile payment solution, announced Friday that it has closed a $6.5 million Series A round of funding led by Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook and private investor.
Saverin will join Jumio’s board of directors.
“I’m usually a critical person,” says Saverin, “but the last time I have seen such a disruptive idea was actually Facebook.”

(Can’t help but assume he’s banking a little bit on the hype of The Social Network with a testimonial like that.)

Actual information about Jumio’s upcoming payments solution, unfortunately, is impossible to come by at the moment. All the company is saying is that Saverin, who currently resides in Singapore, plans to actively participate in the launch of Jumio’s solution in the Asian market. Whether the service will launch here in the U.S. at the same time is unknown, though it sounds unlikely.
Saverin last made big news when leading an $8 million Series A round for Qwiki, a sort of media-rich Wikipedia. The service alpha launched in late January.
Interestingly, instead of raising a regular round with an institutional venture capital fund, Jumio says it created a “Special Purpose Acquisition Company” (SPAC), which could be likened to Goldman Sachs' latest investment round in Facebook. Participation in the round was placed privately to “Ultra High Net Worth Individuals” (Ultra HNWI) in form of a private placement.
“The advantages are obvious,” says Daniel Mattes, CEO of Jumio. “There is a lot of interest from high net worth individuals to participate in start-up success stories like Facebook, Twitter, Zynga or Groupon. We offered the market such an opportunity and it was received extremely well to the extent that we were over-subscribed.”
The idea of an online and mobile payment solution has already been done many, many times, but it's true that no one has totally disrupted the market (save maybe PayPal). Jumio is aiming for something revolutionary. Check out this overly dramatic video from the Jumio website that explains what problems the company aims to tackle:
Jumio The End of Cash from Jumio Inc. on Vimeo

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