Powa plans 250 UK jobs after $76m funding round

Powa plans 250 UK jobs after $76m funding round

British e-commerce and mobile payments outfit Powa Technologies says that it has secured a $76 million investment which will be used to create 250 UK jobs.

Powa has not disclosed the source of the money but according to the Telegraph the entire amount has been put up by Wellington Management in a deal which values the company in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Powa's technology helps retailers sell their goods online through user-friendly tools for setting up and managing e-shops and accepting payments.

It has also moved into the crowded mPOS market through its mPowa unit, offering an app and dongle system for turning mobile phones into card acceptance devices. However, the division has had a difficult start, ditching its initial swipe-based dongle soon after launch last year. The new chip and PIN reader has still not been made available to retailers.

Another offering in the pipeline is PowaTag, which the firm claims will let people snap pictures of products with their mobile phones to be taken to a site to purchase them.

Powa says that the injection of cash will enable it to create 250 jobs, which will be "available immediately" at its London headquarters.

The investment will also be used for an aggressive international push, with the firm planning to open offices in five US cities and South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands, creating another 200 jobs.

One appointment already made is George Thaw, former SAP UK COO, who joins as CEO for channels.

Prime Minister, David Cameron welcomed the jobs news, saying: "E-commerce is vital to our economic success. One in five of our small businesses export. If we could change that from one in five to one in four we would wipe out our trade deficit at one stroke. That is why this expansion of Powa is such good news - helping British Business increase trade both at home and abroad."

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