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Powa Technologies, a mobile payments startup in the U.K., raised a huge $76 million first round of funding today. The financial interest may come from the company’s big plans for e-commerce.

Powa makes a credit card processing dongle called mPowa, similar to its competitors Square, PayPal Here, and Intel’s GoPayment. The hardware connects to a smartphone or tablet’s audio jack and processes credit card transactions with competitive fee rates. Powa is also in the middle of launching a “chip and pin” card reader for the U.K., which businesses can sign up for now.

All of this has been subsidized by chief executive Dan Wagner, who poured $20 million into the company before accepting outside money.

The company would not reveal the name of its investors. TechCrunch believes the investor is Wellington Management, according to its anonymous sources. We have not been able to independently confirm this.

Powa is going beyond just mobile payments, where there is an established market of competitors. The company is looking to revolutionize mobile buying in general with PowaTag product. This is a mobile technology that can detect any product that you take a picture of. Once the product has been identified, PowaTag will send you a link to a place where you can purchase that item online.

If the technology works, that can be a very powerful tool for consumers who may see a pair of shoes on a friend or a piece of furniture and want to know where it comes from (and how much it costs).


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