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Mobile Payment Upstart Boku Gets 'Legendary' Backing

Mobile payments startup Boku has raised a new round of funding from Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz's VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Ron Hirson, SVP of product and marketing, tells Mobile Beat that the round was strategic, and the company is happy to get advice from what the blog calls Andreessen Horowitz's "legendary founders." San Francisco-based Boku lets you use your mobile phone number to pay bills in online applications such as Facebook games.

When you want to buy a virtual good, you enter your phone number. You get a confirmation text message, then you hit "y" to complete the purchase. The transaction is then billed to your mobile phone bill. "It's a very simple system that removes some of the friction from online payments, partly because it's simpler to remember you [sic] phone number than it is to get out your credit card to enter a number every time you do a transaction," writes Mobile Beat. Presently, Boku has more than 1,000 participating merchants, and works with 200 mobile carriers across 60 countries.

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