We have been watching Fortumo grow from a tiny startup to become a global player present in 73 countries. Last month they announced an investment in the amount close to $10 million from Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners.

The basic premise is a mobile payments solution that works directly through operator billing. This allows app and game developers to monetize pretty much instantly. Oh and unlike most of the competitors, they focus specifically on emerging markets where the mobile phone growth is promising to be the biggest.

Up until now the company was self-funded with Mobi Solutions being the main shareholder. This isn’t a surprise, considering that Fortumo turnover in 2011 was €8.5 million of which a €863 thousand was pure profit. This marked a 102% growth from 2010 and we suspect the numbers to be a lot better for 2012.

However, over 60% of turnover in 2011 was from within the EU. So the company clearly recognised the opportunity to expand in other markets and to do so quickly. So the decision to get investors on board is timely.

“Our competitors in the mobile payments space have focused mostly on the US and on Western Europe,” says Rain Rannu, co-founder and CEO of Fortumo. “While Fortumo covers these regions well, what differentiates us is our strong emphasis on emerging and growth markets where credit card penetration may be low but mobile usage is very high. Working with Intel Capital and Greycroft will help us to pursue additional growth opportunities, including strategic partnerships and acquisitions.”

In addition to the investment, they have also announced a new direct contract with China Mobile, the largest telecommunications groups in the world.

Some of their partners are: Rovio, Zeptolab (Cut The Rope), Badoo and others.

One of the key differentiators for Fortumo is their self-service concept. Basically allowing any merchant to sign-up and start accepting mobile payments all through their website.