As a rise in mobile adblocking and a decline in average revenues per user continue to challenge the
Jamie Hardesty

Mobile tech startup Unlockd lands £8m funding boost

Australian mobile tech startup Unlockd has closed an £8m funding round ahead of its second major market launch in the UK, which includes investment from Lachlan Murdoch - son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch..

The firm hopes to change the way people use and pay for their mobile phones around the world. Its technology lets users earn free additional data or handset payments, or a discount to their mobile phone bills, by viewing full-screen ads, offers and relevant content upon unlocking their phone.

Founded in Melbourne by Matt Berriman, Chris Kerrisk and Craig Watt, the firm launched in Australia with Lebara Mobile in October 2015. Since then, the company has opened offices in New York, Seattle and London.

Unlockd’s financing saw increased investment from early strategic backers including PLC Ventures (Lead by Jeff Emmanuel), Peter Gammell (Non-Exec Seven West Media) and Sam Mostyn (Board member of Virgin Australia and Citibank).

The company has also attracted high profile new investors including Radek Sali (CEO, Swisse Wellness) and Greg Roebuck (CEO/ Founder of carsales.com.au).

The investment comes as Unlockd prepares to launch in the UK market, following a successful launch in the US with Boost Mobile (Subsidiary Sprint Telecom) in late January. The launch will see Unlockd’s technology offered to more than 20 million customers across the two countries.

Unlockd CEO and co-founder Matt Berriman said the company’s international expansion and increasing support from investors was validation of its innovative solution is helping solve one of the biggest challenges faced by telecommunications companies around the world.

He said: “The telco industry is facing a continual decline in ARPU’s (average revenue per user), at the same time as growing competition to keep prices low for consumers.

“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, that of falling ARPU’s.

“It was this intelligent, first to market solution that particularly attracted me - it places Unlockd in a unique a position to positively change the global telecommunications industry.”

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