Austin’s Rêv Worldwide raises $5.2 million for expansion

Dec 26, 2013
Austin American Statesman

Austin-based Rêv Worldwide has raised $5.2 million to expand its fast-growing prepaid travel card business


The company, launched in 2008 by NetSpend co-founders Roy and Bertrand Sosa, sells prepaid card and mobile payment programs


Rêv Worldwide received the funding from previous investors including McCombs Partners, the investment arm of Texas billionaire Billy Joe “Red” McCombs


Rêv Worldwide has raised a total of $10 million from backers including MPower Ventures, which was started by the Sosa brothers in 2006 to fund companies offering international payment services, mobile payments and financial services


Rêv Worldwide initially targeted its services to the millions of people who do not use traditional banking and credit card services


Its virtual banking network provides prepaid card payments, money transfers, mobile payments and bill payments as well as services to mobile merchants and small- and medium-sized businesses in North America, Mexico and Brazil


So far, Rêv Worldwide has created branded cards for Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia and will launch several programs for undisclosed partners early next year


Users receive airline miles and other loyalty program perks, and receive better currency exchange rates than traditional credit card users. The cards, which are embedded with a security chip, include a mobile app that lets users exchange money


Rêv Worldwide, which has offices above Anthropologie at Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard, has 100 employees worldwide and is hiring mobile developers, Bertrand Sosa said


The Sosa brothers founded NetSpend Inc., an Austin-based prepaid debit card company, in 1999. NetSpend was acquired last year by mobile payment giant TSYS for $1.4 billion


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