Mysterious investors in mobile payment device Payleven revealed – the Berlusconi clan


Last month, a high one-million US dollar amount was invested in Berlin-based mobile payment service Payleven. Now, the mysterious investors who were not named in the press release have been revealed by Deutsche Startups – turns out they are the children of ex-Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi.


Payleven was launched by Berlin company builder Rocket Internet, who declined to comment on the Berlusconi investment.

Berlusconi’s five children invest through the fund B Cinque, which was launched last year with a hefty €40m in backing. And the family certainly has money to spare – Forbes reported that the Berlusconi clan hold a total worth of close to eight billion dollars.

Other investors in Payleven include Holtzbrinck Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and ru-Net. The Square clone was launched last year, and has since received a total of $12.6m in funding.

The mobile payments market in Europe is becoming increasingly crowded, Payleven faces competition from SumUp, iZettle and Streetpay. So far, Payleven is available in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, the UK, Poland and Brazil – though with the financing the company plans to focus on a South American and European expansion

Just a couple of weeks ago, Payleven introduced a new chip-and-pin device, designed to solve the security issues Visa had with the system.

Image credit: Flickr user CiuPix

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