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Hot Aussie start-up Unlockd is looking to raise a $30 million Series B after launching into its fourth market in just eight months

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Matt Berriman, CEO and co-founder of Unlockd

Market-leading ad and content-funded mobile platform, Unlockd recently launched its fourth market in just eight months with Digicel, Jamaica’s largest telecom provider.

Powered by Unlockd, Digicel “Plus” can help its one million active smartphone users reduce their monthly payments in exchange for viewing relevant ads, content and offers when unlocking their Android smartphone.

While Digicel has shown interest in adblocking at a network level to reduce data costs across its network, its customers now have the option of a value exchange model whereby they view relevant ads to subsidise their monthly bills.

By partnering with Unlockd, Digicel is now able to own a proportion of advertising revenue not previously available via the proprietary ad and content-funded platform to bridge the digital revenue divide between telcos and the mobile ad world.

Through the partnership, geo-targeted ads, offers, discounts or content from brands
including Hyundai, Heineken, Red Stripe and HiPro are shown at various times as users unlock their Android smartphones.

What has Unlockd been up to lately?

Following its successful UK launch in June with Tesco Mobile and the USA launch with Sprint Telecom subsidiary, Boost Mobile at the beginning of the year, interest from telecommunication providers has been extremely strong. With the inclusion of Digicel, two additional carrier partnership deals have also been signed to launch in the coming months, with more in the pipeline to roll out in 2017.

“Our first emerging market partnership with Digicel underpins our vision of making smartphone usage more affordable for everyone. Unlockd is in a unique position in Jamaica as it’s providing the opportunity to connect the un-connected by making phone and mobile data usage accessible for all,” said Matt Berriman, CEO and Co-Founder of Unlockd.

“From our conversations with carriers around the world, the market for the ad and content-funded value exchange model is at a tipping point. Telcos are quickly recognising that the adblocking model does not deliver the same win-win-win that Unlockd’s value exchange proposition does for them and their customers.

“This is the fourth market we’ve launched within eight months with UAE and a major market in Asia to follow within the next three months. We know the company can deploy at least 6+ new markets every year and we’ll be launching even more after our Series B Capital Raise,” Berriman added.

What exactly does Unlockd do?

Founded in Melbourne, with offices in New York and London, Unlockd is changing the way people use and pay for their mobile phones around the world.

Unlockd’s revolutionary mobile technology allows users to earn a discount off their mobile phone bills or free additional data, by viewing full-screen ads, offers and relevant content upon unlocking their phone.

Unlockd launched in the US with Sprint Telecom subsidiary Boost Mobile in January 2016 and recently launched in the UK market with Tesco Mobile. Major partners include: News Corp, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook Audience Network and ,Dentsu Aegis in addition to high profile brands such as McDonalds, British Airways, Doritos and Lyft.

This hot start-up closed a $AU15 million Series A Round in early 2016 from some of the biggest names in the business community, and has recently appointed an advisor to assist with their Series B raise of up to $US30 million, noting the strategic investment approaches over recent months.

In July this year the company also appointed telco and media heavyweight Solomon “Sol” Trujillo and former Virgin Group CEO David Baxby to the Board with Atlassian and Goldman Sachs key executives joining the business.

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