Mobile advertising startup Unlockd has nabbed $23 million (A$30.7 million) from Malaysia-based Axiata Digital, the digital arm of Axiata Group Berhad. The two entities have also inked a strategic partnership as part of this series B funding round, a result of the latter leading the fundraise round.

Unlockd said this partnership will enable them to accelerate their entry into Asia by leveraging Axiata’s carrier list, which has presence across ten countries, including mobile operations in key markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, India, and Singapore.

As per a report published in The Australian Financial Review, this round also saw participation from Australian venture capital firm Alium Capital. It also stated that many of the company’s existing investors have increased their stakes in the round, including Lachlan Murdoch, Margaret Jackson, Peter Gammell, Citibank Australia chairman Sam Mostyn, and Catch of the Day founders Hezi and Gabby Leibovich.

Since its inception in 2015, the company has secured over $37 million, however, it chose not to reveal its valuation. Unlockd CEO and co-founder Matt Berriman, in a statement, said Axiata Digital’s strategic and financial will support them with an “expedited pathway” into one of the fastest growing smartphone regions in the world. He went on to add,

Being able to secure agreements with their operating companies to roll out in key markets sooner than previously planned also means we could raise less capital than we originally anticipated. 

Unlockd has successfully penetrated four markets as of now with its Unlockd Connect product. It had partnered with Sprint Telecom subsidiary Boost Mobile for its USA rollout, then with Tesco Mobile to enter UK, followed by a partnership with largest telco group of the Carribean, Digicel. Also, few weeks ago it partnered with Etisalat to launch in the UAE.

Having secured new strategic and institutional investment as well as strong support from the existing strategic and early stage investors for our Series B, is testament to the business our amazing team are building.

The Australian startup had recently appointed former Twitter Asia Pacific head Aliza Knox as COO. She will be majorly responsible for its expansion into the Asian region.

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