VC Interest In Mobile Sector

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

It has been most interesting in the past week or so to see how investors are gravitating towards the mobile sector.

Here’s a rundown of a few that we noticed had picked up some solid cash:

  • Seattle–based AdXpose, a developer of mobile ad measurement tools formerly known as Mpire, has
    raised $3 million in a new financing round led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

    AdXpose is also the name of the company’s flagship product. AdXpose offers a cloud-based service that can help advertisers measure mobile ad campaigns.

    Customers include Pandora, IDG and the New York Post.

  • Arlington, Virginia-based Airside Mobile, developer of a free mobile commerce platform aimed at people in airports, has received seed-money from Herndon, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology.

    The non-profit Centre for Innovative Technology made the investment through its GAP Funds, which helps Virginia firms bridge the gap between seed and early-stage funding. Airside’s technology targets the more than 750 million travelers that pass through U.S. airports each year. The platform analyzes traveler information – such as location, itinerary and flight status – and gives relevant offers from partners in the airport services arena.

    The company currently operates through an iPhone app, with plans to add apps for Android and Blackberry devices in the coming months. It plans to use the new funds to develop such features as mobile check-in, one-touch mobile boarding pass retrieval and searchable dining and retail guides.

  • GoldSpot Media, Sunnyvale, Califonia-based provider of mobile rich media and video ad services, raised $12.05 million in its second round of venture capital financing, from Exa Ventrues and Berg Enterprises.

    GoldSpot’s miSpot platform has been used to create mobile media campaigns for such brands as Toyota, Audi and Toshiba. The new funds are destined for expanding sales and marketing, plus further product development.

  • Kiip, a San-Francisco-based developer of mobile in-game advertising, raised $4 million in its first round of funding, led by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and also including, True Ventures.
  • Boulder, Colorado-based PlaceIQ, developer of mobile marketing tools, has raised $1 million in new funding from a group of companies and investors including: IA Ventures, Social Leverage, kbs+p Ventures, Jim Pallota, Jerry Neumann and Stuart Davidson.

    PlaceIQ plans to use geo-location data from consumers’ mobile phones, from check-ins and tagged photos, for marketing use.

  • Boston-based Txteagle, a provider of software for conducting consumer surveys on mobile devices, has raised $8.5 million in a venture capital deal led by Spark Capital.

    Txteagle has reportedly compiled a database of 2.1 billion consumers. Its software allows consumers to send and receive messages without cost. Consumers who participate in a survey are provided with free airtime, as long as their mobile operator is affiliated with the service.

  • WhatsApp, Mountain View, California-based operator of a service that lets owners of disparate smartphones exchange text messages, images, audio and video files, has won $8 million in financing from several companies icluding Sequoia Capital.

    WhatsApp’s cross-platform service is interoperable between iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia devices.

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