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  • Aug 25, 2016

Murdoch-Backed Startup Bets You’ll Watch Ads to Cut Phone Bills

An Australian startup is getting some traction with a proposition for mobile-phone users: Watch our ads, and we’ll cut your wireless bill.
Called Unlockd, the company has reached half a million customers through deals this year with two carriers to offer users a discount on their rates if they agree to view ads when they unlock their handset screen. In the U.S., Boost Mobile, a brand of Sprint Corp., gives customers with Android phones a $5 credit on prepaid plans that cost from $30 to $60 a month.

Unlockd also operates in the U.K. through a deal with Tesco Mobile, and plans to expand into five more countries by October, and an additional eight before year-end. It’s raised more than $20 million from investors including two heavyweights: Sol Trujillo, former chief executive officer of Melbourne-based phone company Telstra Corp., and Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of 21st Century Fox Inc.

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