Mobile sector companies raised $183 million between 23 different financing transactions, a drop of 42% in total amount and 21% in number of companies funded. Unlike the previous quarter, there was no standout funding that stood above the others. In addition, the funding was spread between early, middle and later stage rounds.
One investment theme during the quarter was the continued funding of mobile advertising platform providers. These entrants are developing advertising and content delivery platforms for mobile operators and wireless telecommunications companies.
Acuity Mobile received $4 million. Tapioca Mobile, which raised a $5.5 million series A round led by Venrock and, and Smaato, secured $3.5 million from Germany-based Aeris Capital AG and Silicon Valley angels.
The largest mobile funding event during the quarter was for mBlox, which received $22.2 million in its fifth financing round. Mblox is in the business of mobile payment and message transmission, a heretofore difficult industry in which to make money, especially in the United States. The round was funded by Norwest Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Novus Ventures and Trident Capital.
Communications companies received the least funding aggregate of the four sectors for the second quarter in a row, netting $57 million between five companies funded. However, this represented a 36% increase in funding over the previous quarter. Nevertheless, over the last 3 quarters there has been no discernible funding trend.
Chelsio Communications received almost half of the total funding for the sector, or $25 million in its series E funding round. The round was led by Investor Growth Capital, and included a syndicate of venture capital and strategic investors such as New Enterprise Associates, LSI Logic, Hotung Capital Management, Abacus Capital, Horizon Ventures and INVESCO Private Capital. Chelsio aims to provide protocol acceleration technology at the convergence of networking, storage and clustering interconnects.
Venture Funding Activity – 1st Quarter 2008
||- 44 %
|| - 23 %
||+ 26 %
||+ 17 %
||- 42 %
||- 21 %
||+ 36 %
||- 16 %
||- 7 %