Mobile banking start-up Firethorn acquired by Qualcomm

Mobile banking start-up Firethorn acquired by Qualcomm

Firethorn, an Atlanta-based provider of mobile banking technology has agreed to be acquired by US wireless technology developer Qualcomm in a deal worth around $210 million.

US banks Wachovia, Regions Financial, SunTrust Banks and BancorpSouth have all signed deals to implement mobile banking and payments technology provided by Firethorn in partnership with AT&T. The four year-old firm also recently agreed a deal with Verizon to pre-load its software onto the wirless operator's handsets.

Qualcomm says the acquisition will enable it to drive the development of mobile payments and help financial institutions accelerate consumer adoption of mobile banking services.

Firethorn officially launched in January this year on the back of a $14.8 million funding round led by a tight-knit group of investors. The company timed its launch to perfection, coinciding with surging interest among banks and wireless operators in the provision of financial services to consumer handsets.

Completion of the deal, which is subject to certain closing conditions, is expected within 30 days.

Firethorn's employees will remain in Atlanta and will continue to be led by current CEO Tripp Rackley and will be overseen by Len Lauer, executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm.

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