Tech giants Apple and Google could be about to go head-to-head in a bidding war for mobile payments start-up Boku, according to the TechCrunch blog.
Boku, which launched in June last year, has developed mobile payment processing relationships with leading game and application developers, including nearly 100% of the top apps for virtual goods and currencies purchased on Facebook.
The firm's mobile payment service, Paymo, is enabled across over 200 carriers worldwide in more than 60 countries. Last week it revealed plans for a direct mobile payment connection trial with AT&T, offering customers a direct carrier-billing system for online goods and services using their existing wireless service account.
In May it raised an undisclosed investment from Andreeson Horowitz, the firm founded by Netscape co-founders Marc Andreesen and Ben Horowitz. This came on top of $38 million in funding already won.
Now, citing people familiar with the talks, TechCrunch claims Apple and Google have both held several meetings with Boku president and CEO Mark Britto and co-founder Ron Hirson.
The blog says Apple is considering an outright takeover, valuing the start-up at between $250 million and $450 million. It is less clear whether Google is looking to buy the company or just form a partnership.
Exclusive: Apple, Google Are Sniffing Around Mobile Payments Startup Boku - TechCrunch