Zong, a mobile payment company, today announced it secured a first round of funding for $15 million. The company plans to use the funding to hire more staff and continue marketing efforts.
Zong allows users to make mobile payments for virtual goods within games and on popular social networks like Facebook. Through a widget, the user enters their mobile phone number in a one-time sign-up process which is then linked to a credit or debit card. Once complete, the user can use the widget to purchase virtual goods like clothing or weapons.
The company claims to have seen rapid growth since it’s launch only a few months ago. The reason may be its twist in how the payment process works, which uses mobile carriers and not traditional banks to process transactions. The result is lower transaction fees for the user. An advantage over other mobile payment companies like FaceCash, Square, Obopay and Bling Nation.
According to Venturewire, Zong has partnered with some 174 wireless carriers and was recently selected by Facebook to process its new Facebook Credits currency for popular social games Farmville and Mafia Wars.
The first round funding was lead by Matrix Partners and Dana Stalder, general partner of Matrix, will join Zong’s board of directors.
The company, founded in 2008 and spun out of Echovox, which helps companies make money through mobile services, is based in Palo Alto, California.
Tags: Facebook, mobile payments, social gaming
Companies: Face Cash, Matrix Partners, Zong
People: Dana Stalder