Australian start-up Unlockd’s mobile platform is now available to more than 9 million customers in the United States thanks to a deal with Boost Mobile, a Sprint Telecom company.
Unlockd will help Boost Mobile customers reduce their phone bills by $5 per month, by displaying smart ads, offers and other relevant content from major brands and media companies such as Starbucks, Levi’s, Hulu, SheKnows and Lyft at various times when they unlock their handset.
The Boost Mobile launch also includes major partnerships with Twitter and Yahoo. Special deals and offers available to Twitter users, through its digital ad marketplace MoPub, will be available to Boost Mobile customers using the Unlockd app, and a Yahoo search bar will be integrated into the unlock screen, giving consumers a superior content discovery experience.
Doug Smith, Director of Pre-Paid at Sprint Telecom, said Unlockd had opened a new stream of revenue for the telco giant, which serves a total of 58 million customers in the US.
“Providing Boost subscribers with options to reduce their cost to communicate is in line with our goal of being the value leader in pre-paid,” Doug remarked.
“Boost Dealz, built on the Unlockd solution, is an industry-first, completely optional opportunity for our customers to earn value in exchange for learning about products and services aligned with their interests,” he went on to explain.
“In addition, it delivers a new revenue stream to our business while providing an innovative avenue for advertisers and media publishers to reach a highly targeted audience.”
What next for Unlockd after this deal?
Unlockd CEO and co-founder Matt Berriman said the company’s technology would be available in more than six international markets around the world by the end of 2016.
“Unlockd has solved one of the biggest problems facing the global telecommunications industry, which is how to offer a lower consumer price point while also stabilising or increasing ARPU (average revenue per user) through new revenue streams,” Matt said.
“Consumers have been crying out for new ways to pay for skyrocketing smartphone usage and Unlockd lets them keep their phone bills down, while delivering smart ads, offers and content that they find relevant and useful.
“We have already locked in partnerships with major telcos in the US and UK, and have several telco partners we will be announcing in Europe and Asia over the coming months.
“Our immediate global traction shows there is a huge demand around the world for innovation and technology that solves real business problems, whether it’s from Australia or elsewhere.”
What is the story behind Unlockd?
Unlockd is out to change how we use and pay for our mobile phones by letting 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 when unlocking their phone.
Unlockd’s US launch comes after rapid overseas expansion, including new offices in New York, Seattle and London with more than 40 additional staff members, just a few months after its debut in Australia with Lebara Mobile in October 2015.
This innovative start-up was founded in Melbourne by Matt Berriman, Chris Kerrisk and Craig Watt and is backed by high-profile investors including Lachlan Murdoch, Peter Gammell, Margaret Jackson and Catch of the Day founders Hezi and Gabby Leibovich.
What problem is Unlockd solving?
Global mobile advertising spend is expected to surpass $US100 billion ($AU144 billion) in 2016 (source: eMarketer, April 2015), accounting for more than half of all digital ad revenue.
However, mobile ad revenue has traditionally gone to the media and content industry rather than telecommunications providers. Several major telcos around the world have discussed the option of blocking advertisements in a bid to pressure media companies to share their mobile ad revenue.
Unlockd provides an innovative solution that benefits everyone including the consumers, media publishers and telco providers.