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Ad-based Mobile Start-up Announces £8m Investment

Tim Maytom

Unlockd Starbucks 01Unlockd, a mobile tech start-up that rewards consumers with discounted contract rates in return for viewing mobile ads upon unlocking their phone has announced an £8m Series A funding round, having attracted investment from a number of high-profile figures.

The Australia-based company has already enjoyed success in its home country and in the US, working with Sprint subsidiary Boost Mobile, and is planning a UK launch in the near future thanks to the new injection of cash, which will be used to fuel its expansion.

Among the investors are PLC Ventures; Sam Mostyn, a board member of Virgin Australia and Citibank; Radek Sali, CEO of Swisse Wellness; and Lachlan Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch. The combined US and UK launches will bring Unlockd's technology to more than 20m customers across the two markets.

"The telco industry is facing a continual decline in average revenue per user, at the same time as growing competition to keep prices low for consumers," said Matt Berriman, CEO and co-founder of Unlockd. "This is due in part to the massive increase in data usage per user, as smartphones become the screen for browsing, playing games and viewing content.

"Unlockd has built a world-class, simple innovation that helps to solve a key challenge facing the telecoms industry. Unlockd ensures carriers can stabilise or increase their average revenue per user through new revenue streams while also giving their customers rewards and helping keep their phone bills down."

"Unlockd's smart ads can be customised by the user's preferences, location and time of day to make sure the content displayed is relevant and valuable," said Radek Sali, CEO of Swisse Wellness.