Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

Boku raises $13.75 million to bring total to $91 million

A consortium of investors from Silicon Valley and the UK have added more cash to fund Boku’s global payment operations.

Boku launched in 2009 with a mission to become the world’s leading carrier billing company. Today it has hundreds of carrier connections and partnerships with merchants including Sony, Spotify and Facebook.

Now, investors led by Andrew Black (founder, Betfair), Robert Markwick (Goldman Sachs) and Khosla Ventures have added $13.75 to keep the momentum going.

They may have been inspired by the growing adoption of carrier billing in ‘mature’ markets. In the past few months Google and Apple have expanded their support for the billing method.

Boku CEO, Jon Prideaux said: “Carrier billing is evolving into a mainstream payment method used by the world’s major brands for all types of digital products. The world’s biggest tech companies see tremendous potential in the power of the phone as a source of funds.”

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Wirecard opens up Alipay to European retailers – with an app

Merchants across Europe will soon be able to download the ‘Scan Alipay’ app, and then take Alipay payments via a barcode.

Germany’s Wirecard signed an agreement last year to bring Alipay to Europe. The idea was to tap into a Chinese tourism market worth $165 billion in 2014. Alipay has 450 million active users.

Now the deal is close to fruition. To use the app, retailers enter the amount into the ‘Scan Alipay’ app on a mobile device and then scan the QR code on the customer’s smartphone. The app is only for iOS at present, with Android coming later this year.

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Kaspersky Lab launches SaaS security for small businesses

The cloud is coming to internet security, as Kaspersky Lab unveils its Endpoint Security Cloud.

The new product is pitched at SMEs, giving them a service they can manage through a web dashboard with a user-friendly interface.

Endpoint Security Cloud will protect Windows workstations, file servers and Android and iOS devices from emerging threats, including ransomware.

It’s part of a new suite of updated products from Kaspersky. The new functions

  • Secure Connection – encrypting all data sent and received through the network
  • Software Updater – automatically finding and installing latest versions
  • Software Cleaner – scans all apps installed and marks those posing potential risk

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Mozilla makes investment in mobile browser firm

Open source browser firm Mozilla has bought in to Germany’s Cliqz, which makes an iOS and Android browser and search engine.

Cliqz quick search is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. A Cliqz add-on is already available for Mozilla’s Fiorefox browser. It provides speedier search as well as privacy and safety enhancements.

Mark Mayo, SVP of Mozilla Firefox, said Cliqz’s products “align with the Mozilla mission. We are proud to help advance the privacy-focused innovation from Cliqz through this strategic investment in their company”.

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Deutsche Telekom moves into mobile TV streaming

German TV viewers can now watch on mobile with Deutsche Telekom’s Entertain TV service.

They can choose from 40 channels including all major German public and commercial services from €6.95 per month. The service is an extension of the operator’s IPTV platform Entertain TV, available to its broadband customers.

Each user can register up to four devices for Entertain to go. Channels include ARD, ZDF, ProSieben, SAT.1 and kabeleins.

Subscribers can also download new up to 20 TV apps from Bild.de, Tagesschau, ADAC, Sport 1 and more.

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