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Deal Radar 2008: Mobixell

Posted on Monday, Nov 3rd 2008

The user experience on mobile devices is fast becoming a “rich media” phenomenon, with video, graphics, advertising, and interactivity. In this edition of the Deal Radar, we look at a company that aims to optimize the mobile rich media user experience.

According to a study done by Heavy Reading, quoted in InformationWeek, mobile advertising revenue worldwide will increase from $1.4 billion in 2007 to more than $10 billion by 2013. Further, mobile ads in the United States, which accounted for $421 million in sales in 2006, will reach $5 billion by 2011. According to estimates released by Juniper Research in April 2008, total annual ad spend on mobile would exceed $1 billion and reach $1.3 billion by the end of 2008, rising to nearly $7.6 billion by 2013. Mobile TV growth is expected to increase from $3.8 billion in 2008 to $16 billion by 2011. All these numbers set the stage for Mobixell.

Mobixell Networks is a mobile multimedia and advertising company headquartered in Cupertino, California, with offices in the UK, Germany and China and an R&D center in Israel. The company was founded by Amir Aharoni and Yehuda Elmaliach in 2000. The two had previously worked together in Optibase, where Aharoni served as president, COO and director and Elmaliach as founder and chief technology officer. Elmaliach was also a co-founder of Optibase Limited.

Mobixell’s solutions focus on enhancing the user experience by ensuring quick, efficient and unobtrusive delivery of video content to cell phones. The company constantly strives to ensure that video streamed to cell phones does not clog the network. The company’s goal is to create a user experience that remains the same for all, irrespective of the device or network they use, even if it is a low-bandwidth GPRS network. This optimization is what operators are looking for, since if the network is down for even a few minutes, the consumer may not use the service again, the company claims.

Mobixell is working with service providers and advertisers through the Mobile Marketing Association, which has 650 members that include ad agencies, advertisers, handheld-device manufacturers, carriers and operators, retailers, software providers and service providers. The company supplies its technology to over 300 cell phone companies worldwide and has over 500 million users.

Some of its notable customers include Orange, O2, Universal Music Mobile and Vodafone. In September 2008, Sony Pictures Television announced that Mobixell would power a new service that will enable Sony to automatically insert ads for WAP sites in the United States. In July 2008, VimpelCom, a leading mobile operator in Russia, chose Mobixell to power its multimedia content services and provide a centralized solution to ensure an optimal user experience irrespective of the device or network used.

The company did not, however, disclose any revenue information.

In April 2007 Mobixell acquired Adamind, a global supplier of media adaptation software for the mobile messaging (MMS), content and convergence services markets. Mobixell acquired Adamind’s assets, including intellectual property; all of its software products; and contracts with customers and suppliers relating to the development, marketing, and sale of all Adamind’s products including transcoding and Mobile Multimedia software. Adamind received $5.5 million for the assets, less $550,000 in escrow for possible damages over the coming year.

Mobixell geared up for growth by recently raising another round of funding. The company has raised $29 million so far: a $6 million Series A from Apax Partners, Comverse Technology and Optibase Limited in 2000; a $5 million Series B from Apax Partners and Siemens MobileAcceleration, joined by Comverse Technology and Optibase Limited in 2003; a $4 million Series C from Apax Partners and Siemens Mobile Acceleration, Comverse Technology and Optibase Limited in 2004; an $8 million Series D led by Intel Capital; and a $6 million Series E from Apax Partners, Intel Capital and Munich-based Smac Partners. Mobixell plans to use the money to expand the development and marketing of its mobile multimedia, mobile TV and advertising solutions.

Related Reading:

* The Convergence Device Movement

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2008


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