Here’s a company you should be paying attention to, if you’re not already: Zong, the mobile payments startup, said today it’s raised $15 million in a round led by Matrix Partners and is now fully spun off from Switzerland-based Echovox. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Zong enables mobile payments through both cell phone bills (it has hundreds of direct relationships with carriers) and direct charges to credit or debit cards (to avoid carrier feeds).
Most notably, Zong is Facebook’s mobile payment provider of choice, an enviable position given the popularity of virtual goods on that massive platform. Along with the funding, Matrix General Partner Dana Stalder, a former PayPal (s EBAY) exec who led PayPal Mobile as well as the company’s developer platform, will join Zong’s board.
Competitor Boku raised $25 million in Series C funding from DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures in January. And of course, there’s a certain eBay-owned company that scoffs at the notion of “PayPal killers.”
Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):