M-Via, which offers a mobile checking account called Boom, said July 18 that it closed a $17 million financing round led by Digicel Group Ltd.

M-Via, of Palo Alto, Calif., is also changing its name to Boom Financial.

The financing will be used to hire more people to join its product team in the U.S. Boom also plans to improve sales and distribution in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, it said in a press release.

The company has been promoting its Boom account heavily overseas. The Boom account was launched in November to allow users to send money from the U.S. to relatives in other countries. Users send transfer instructions as text messages. They receive a prepaid MasterCard and can make three free cash withdrawals a month.

Digicel, a mobile operator with a presence in 31 markets, said Boom's technology can benefit its own customers.

"Digicel's customers in the Caribbean and Central America receive more than $5 billion a year in cash remittances from the U.S.," Colm Delves, Digicel's CEO, said in a press release. "Working with the Boom Financial team, we will seed a mobile banking ecosystem in these markets that eliminates the high fees and safety issues associated with cash remittances."

Boom's existing investors, RRE Ventures and MATT.org, participated in the round Digicel led. Altogether, Boom has raised more than $30 million in funding to date, it said in the release.

"Our partnership with Digicel further validates Boom as the premier U.S. brand for mobile financial services for immigrants and their extended families across the Americas," said Bill Barhydt, Boom's CEO, in the release.

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