We’re pleased to see that OboPay has closed its second round of funding lead by $7 mn from none other than Qualcomm! That would indicate it’s quite likely we’ll see a strong push for their BREW-based P2P mobile commerce application in the future. This news also seems to be at least somewhat disruptive to the existing embedded IC chip effort lead by Sony and Phillips. As both KDDI/au and Vodafone (almost SoftBank Mobile) are running on Qualcomm’s chipset in Japan, this development might present them with a viable alternative to paying license fees to FeliCa Networks as well.
Excerpt from the the press release [.PDF here].
“QUALCOMM believes that there is a tremendous opportunity in mobile payments, and we were impressed by what Obopay has to offer in terms of vision, execution and an experienced management team,” said Nagraj Kashyap, director of North American operations, QUALCOMM Ventures. “We look forward to working with Obopay and driving mass consumer adoption of their innovative peer-to-peer mobile payments solution on the BREW® platform.”
Obopay will leverage the investment to expand its marketing and operations to capitalize on the rapidly growing opportunity for mobile payments in the United States. The company also will continue to work closely with mobile operators, merchants and financial institutions to provide consumers with greater options and a seamless experience with the Obopay mobile payments service.
“This strategic investment by QUALCOMM and our original slate of investors strongly validates our early leadership in this rapidly growing market,” said Carol L. Realini, CEO and founder of Obopay. “We are beginning to see in the United States the same trends that sparked massive adoption of mobile payments abroad and are making it a practical and usable solution for consumers today.”