BitPass Secure More Funding as Content Spurs Micropayment Growth

Good news for micorpayment companies – now that there are actually things worth buying, the forcast for the industry is very healthy indeed. Recent research by TowerGroup estimates that the market for internet and mobile payments will reach US$11.5 billion (€9.52) by 2009, in the US alone. Mobile payment companies like SimPay in Europe must be popping the champagne corks as mobile phone adoption in Europe is traditionally ahead of the US.

To capitalise on the expected growth, BitPass has secured an additional US$11.75 million (€9.72 million) in funding from a group of investors including Worldview Technology Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the venture capital arm of The Walt Disney Company), RRE Ventures and others. Existing investors Garage Technology Ventures, Cardinal Venture Capital and Amicus Capital also participated in the round.

The money will be used on the company’s sales and marketing efforts, plus enhancing the company’s product and customer service support.

BitPass’ payment system is geared towards a wide range of online content, such as music and games, and offers secure anonymous payment. No software is required either – just a recent browser.

BitPass is backed by Guy Kawasaki, who said of the company: “BitPass is the most exciting opportunity I’ve seen since the Macintosh. Since my days at Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), I have loved technology that empowers the little guy. BitPass does exactly that. This could create a business model for companies and individuals where there was none before.”


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?