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

Boku Inc’s Fortumo launch carrier billing partnership with iQIYI International

Boku Inc, a leading global mobile payment and mobile identity company, has announced that its recently acquired subsidiary, Fortumo, together with the video streaming service iQIYI International are today announcing the launch of a carrier billing partnership. Consumers can now subscribe to iQIYI International by charging the purchases to their mobile phone bill or prepaid SIM card. The first country where carrier billing has become available is Malaysia, with the Philippines to be launched next.

Andrea Boetti, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Fortumo commented, “Carrier billing is the simplest and widely available payment method for collecting payments on mobile devices, which makes it ideal for mobile-first digital content providers for user acquisition and conversion. iQIYI International is a leading company in the video streaming industry and we are excited to enable a simpler way to access high-quality content for their customers.”

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Remote purchases of physical goods on the rise

The remote purchase of physical goods will exceed the threshold of 30 MM€ this year in Spain (7% of the total of Europe). It will approach 37 MM€ in 2024, according to our last analysis about digital payment of physical goods, based in Juniper Research data.

Since the beginning of this year, purchases of services (travel, leisure, subscriptions and others) were at the top of the digital market. In recent months, online purchases of physical goods have been gaining ground, particularly in the fashion, footwear and accessories, technology, household appliances, food, sports and toys sectors.

According to Roberto Monge, Chief Operations Officer: “85% of Spanish users over 15 years old have already bought a physical good remotely from a computer. The proportion of users who buy and pay for physical goods remotely from their mobile devices is now 26%, and we estimate that this percentage will increase to 32.5% in 2024”.

The remote purchase of physical goods will grow by 70% (from 2020 to 2024) well above the European and global figures increasing 46% and 59%, respectively. In Spain, turnover from computers will stand at 16M€ this year and will register an accumulated decrease of 11% to reach slightly over 14M€ in 2024.

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Multilingual learning for Africa – via WhatsApp

Global cloud communications company Infobip has been appointed by Ubongo, a leading African edutainment company, to implement a WhatsApp channel with its latest offering Answers. Answers is Infobip’s chatbot building platform that, it says, uses the world’s most popular communication channels and provides faster customer support at a lower cost.

Ubongo creates localised and multi-platform educational media that reaches millions of families through accessible technologies. With more than two billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is ideally suited to Ubongo’s use case, says Infobip.

Ubongo calls itself ‘Africa’s biggest classroom’. The company delivers its programmes via TV, radio, and digital channels to millions of children across the continent – an important consideration when an estimated 250 million or more primary and secondary schoolchildren are out of school in Africa due to the ongoing pandemic.

The majority of Ubongo’s audience uses the WhatsApp chat application so the company can leverage its reach and low data costs to get content to its users and drive deeper engagement in three different languages – English, Swahili and Hausa.

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Tele2 Russia Signs New 2-year Contract with Anam for Managed A2P SMS Services

Anam Technologies on Friday announced a new 2-year contract with Tele2 Russia, involving  the provision of comprehensive Managed A2P SMS Services to complement Anam’s  deployed SMS Firewall.

The advancement of wholesale A2P SMS as a professional and  reliable service is central to the Anam/Tele2 partnership because the channel has been occasionally subject to A2P grey routing. The companies’ joint effort will help enhance  reliability of the channel and its resistance to such attacks. Tele2 serves 44.6 m subscribers  across operations in 68 regions in Russia.

David Walton Regional  Account Director for Anam – We are delighted to renew and extend our contract with  Tele2 which reflects the success of the Anam Firewall and Managed Services over last 3  years,and now confirms a further deepening of our co – operation with Tele2, including a  upcoming program of innovation where Anam will beproviding new features and services  to further protect revenues and additionally, to enhance the Tele2 Product offering to their customers and subscribers.

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Richardson’s Mavenir may raise $376 million in IPO; valuation could be close to $2 billion

Richardson’s Mavenir could raise more than $375 million with its move to the public market.

The company, which provides software to the wireless industry, has set prices for its shares at between $20 and $24 for its initial public offering, according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company is looking to sell 13.6 million shares, and at the high end of the range that would be more than $325 million. If underwriters exercise a bigger option, that could push the total to 15.7 million shares — and raise it to about $376 million.

The company’s valuation may easily clear $1.5 billion. Renaissance Capital said it could command a fully diluted capitalization of $1.9 billion at the mid-point of the range. IPO Boutique sees a range of between $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion.

Earlier this month, the company became the latest in the Dallas area to push for an IPO as the market heats up nationally. Last month, Taysha Gene Therapies in Dallas held its IPO and that followed the market debut of Lantern Pharma in June.

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