Fortumo is an Estonian direct carrier billing company which develops a platform for app stores and digital service providers for user acquisition, monetization and retention.
Fortumo’s products allow digital merchants to manage the lifecycle of mobile users on more than 280 mobile operator networks through bundling, carrier billing and messaging solutions.
The company started in 2007 as a spin-off of the mobile services company Mobi Solutions and currently employs over 80 people. In July 2020, the company was acquired by Boku, Inc., and will continue to operate under its existing brand within the group.
Fortumo provides a digital enablement platform for to digital merchants and mobile operators to acquire, monetize and retain their users.
- Direct Carrier Billing platform: enables digital merchants to collect payments from subscribers of over 280 mobile operators. Merchants can choose to either integrate one of the turn-key products provided for this purpose (Web SDK, Hosted DCB) or integrate with Fortumo’s direct carrier billing API.
- Bundling platform: enables digital merchants and mobile operators to provision discounted or free digital service access to mobile operator subscribers. Fortumo’s platform provides a unified interface for user authentication, service provisioning and configuring any type of bundle offer across dozens of digital service providers and over 280 mobile operators.
- Messaging platform: enables digital merchants to communicate with their customers through mobile messaging. The platform is connected to over 280 mobile operators and can be used for 2-factor authentication, payment notifications and marketing communications.
- Fortumo Insight: provides mobile operators with an overview of their carrier billing performance, including data on account activations, payment behaviour, top grossing content by category and payment failure rates.
- PayRead platform:enables digital publishers to collect payments from readers through their mobile operator account and bundle their products with mobile operator plans as well as with other digital service providers.
Merchants using Fortumo include app stores (Google Play), streaming services (Amazon, Spotify, iflix, Sony, Deezer, Tidal), social networks (Facebook, Badoo), publishers (Schibsted), gaming companies (Epic Games, EA Mobile, Kinguin), transportation service providers (EasyPark, Mobike), classified sites (OLX).
Fortumo has integrated approximately 280 mobile operators to its platform. Fortumo’s mobile operator partners include mobile operator groups such as Telefónica, Telenor and Orange as well as individual mobile operators like Reliance Communications, Turkcell and Globe Telecom. Fortumo uses the mobile operators’ technical infrastructure to authenticate users, process payments and enable mobile messaging for its merchants while giving the mobile operators access to real-time data and payments analytics through its Fortumo Insight dashboard.
Venture Capital Investments
In February 2013, Fortumo announced it had completed a growth round of financing with the first external shareholders – Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners – joining the company. Although financial details about the funding were not disclosed, TechCrunch reported approximately 10 million USD as the size of the deal. Fortumo co-founder Rain Rannu explained the reasons for bringing in investors: “Working with Intel Capital and Greycroft will help us to pursue additional growth opportunities, including strategic partnerships and acquisitions”.
In February 2017, Fortumo launched a bundling platform for digital content providers and mobile operators. Traditional bundle deals between a digital content provider (such as a VOD company) and mobile operator require a separate integration between the parties to provision discounted or free digital service access to mobile operator subscribers. With the bundling platform, Fortumo allows mobile operators to connect to several digital content providers at once and vice versa, also providing a unified interface for user authentication, service provisioning and configuring any type of bundle offer. This makes the launch of bundle partnerships quicker and easier for both parties involved.
In March 2019, Fortumo deployed its Trident Bundling Platform to connect Amazon with the Indian telco BSNL. Later in the year, the company announced additional Amazon launches with Tata Sky and Orange Spain.
In January 2019, Fortumo launched PayRead platform that enables digital publishers (like international media group Schibsted) to identify and charge consumers through their SIM card. In March 2019 PayRead was also connected to the bundling platform. That enables publishers to bundle their products with mobile operator plans as well as with other digital service providers.
Acquisition by Boku
In June 2020, Boku, Inc. (LSE: BOKU) announced that it intended to acquire Fortumo for $45 million. The acquisition was completed on July 1st, 2020. Jon Prideaux, CEO of Fortumo explained the acquisition: “Boku has always grown by a mixture of organic growth and selective acquisition. This deal, which will be our sixth, cements our position as the scale player in Direct Carrier Billing. It brings together the two most profitable players in the industry, with compatible technology, complementary customers and with a great cultural fit.” After the acquisition, Fortumo continues to operate under its existing brand as a separate organization within the Boku group of companies. 
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