Australians will be able to top up their mobile phone credit and data in exchange for viewing targeted ads, thanks to the recent partnership between mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) company, Lebara, and Australian startup, Unlockd.
From October 26, Unlockd said Australian customers who download the app and opt-in to view a display ad, deal or piece of content, will be eligible for a bonus 2GB of data per month. However, the offer is only available for Android users.
The company said, in a statement, that all content will appear every three or four times customers unlock their smartphone, however it can be dismissed quickly and is targeted, relevant and non-intrusive.
Unlockd co-founder and chief executive, Matt Berriman, said the business model generates new revenue streams and reduces churn for telcos, whilst giving customers a new way to pay for their smartphone usage. “It allows advertisers to reach that holy grail of geo-targeted, fullscreen mobile advertising,” he said.
Lebara commercial director, Michael Baxter, said as consumers are using up more data than ever, the business model allows them to access it without blowing their budgets.
“By partnering with Unlockd, we’re giving Lebara customers the option to boost their data allowance and stay connected for longer, in return for a tailored and reward-driven experience,” he added.
Investors currently on board include Seek.com’s Matt Rockman; former Seven Group Holdings managing director and chief executive, Peter Gammell; Hitwise former chief executive, Andrew Walsh; and Virgin Australian and AFL Commission board member, Sam Mostyn.
Unlockd has also secured involvement from international investors including PLC Investments from Hong Kong, led by Citibank vice chairman, Jeff Emmanuel.
“Our group was particularly attracted to Unlockd because it is such a clever and simple innovation. It helps solve such a large problem facing the global telecommunications industry, that of falling average revenue per user (ARPU’s),” Emmanuel said.Unlockd has raised double digit millions in its third capital raising ahead of its product debut in Australia and the US. By the end of 2016 the business aims to have products featuring its technology available in UK, Indonesia, India, China and Singapore.