Mobile-focused companies received the largest amount of venture capital funding as well as the number of companies funded, raising $317 million among 29 different companies. The large amount raised was skewed higher by the dominant funding event of the quarter, $185 million for Motricity, a mobile content and media provider. Motricity used $135 million of the financing to acquire the mobile services business unit from InfoSpace.
Other fundings covered a wide range of mobile applications, from direct-to-consumer services, enterprise and telecom platforms, advertising networks and mobile virtual network operators (MVNO). Notably, Amp’d Mobile, a prominent and highly funded MVNO, recently filed for bankruptcy protection, citing high bad debts from its customer base. This development cast a pall over other MVNOs, as questions were raised about the viability of the MVNO business model, which piggybacks its services on existing facilities-based networks.
A number of companies in the located-based technology sub-sector of the Mobile market received funding during the quarter:
The Communications industry saw the lowest funding amount of the four related sectors, with 5 companies receiving a total of $42 million in new venture capital, representing a 50% decrease in funding amount versus the previous quarter.
Of the funded 5 companies, Tervela, Inc. received a follow-on series C funding of $20.2 million from its syndicate of investors, notably including Robert Davoli of Sigma Partners who is a board member. The company had its first close of the round in July, raising another $15.6 million, for a total 2007 haul of $35.8 million. Tervela was founded in 2004 and is shipping its messaging solutions to the general enterprise and capital markets sectors.
Venture Funding Activity – 4th Quarter 2007
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