And The Money Rolls In To Mobile

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

It seems that investors are running, not walking, to put their dollars into the mobile sector: In the past week, we saw the cash flow to Urban Airship, Schematic Labs, Medialets Inc. and Square Inc..

Urban Airship, Portland, Oregon, which powers some of the most successful apps, has raised $15.1 million in Series C funding from strategic investors and Verizon as well as existing investors Foundry Group and True Ventures.

The investment, which came less than a week after Urban Airship’s acquisition of SimpleGeo, brought the company’s total funding to $21.6 million. The funding will go toward growing Urban Airship’s platform that puts push notifications, in-app purchasing, subscriptions, context and geo-location on a single platform, enabling developers to build intelligent, context-rich apps that consumers will find more valuable and use more frequently.

Urban Airship has more than 20,000 customers, including Fox Television, Groupon, Mashable, Tapulous, Warner Bros., The Weather Channel, and Yahoo!.

Schematic Labs, San Francisco-based mobile social entertainment applications firm behind SoundTracking, has completed a $4.75 million dollar financing round led by Accel Partners, with participation from SoftBank Capital and existing investor True Ventures.

The company said it will apply the funds to growing the engineering and design team and developing products. SoundTracking has reported having nearly 1 million users of its free app, who collectively share more than 6 million ‘musical moments’ each day. These ‘moments’ are a snippet of music along with photos, locations and comments together in an instantly shared package.

Medialets, New York-based mobile advertising and analytics firm, has raised a total of $8.4 million in what might be considered a Series C funding round, but the investors were not identified.

The company says that the investment is to continue to fuel its growth: to speed product development; grow its client services and operations teams; and significantly scale itssales organization. Its previous backing came from 500 Startups, DFJ Gotham, Great Barn Ventures and The Foundry Group.

Medialets previous funding round raised $6 million, which was to be spent on ad expansion. The total amount of funding the company has received to date is $18.4 million.

In the past year, Medialets launched a number of new products to help accelerate the adoption of mobile advertising, including Muse, its creative dashboard and self-service platform for rich media ad creation, and Medialets’ mobile/tablet Web capabilities.

Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group, has become the latest investor in mobile payment firm Square Inc., San Francisco.

Branson made the investment as a private individual, and the amount has not been disclosed. The company recently closed a $100 million financing round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

Square distributes a card reader and mobile application that enable anyone to accept credit card payments for goods and services. It reports having shipped more than 800,000 card readers to merchants since it went live in 2010 and said it currently is processing over $2 billion in payments annually.

Square for iPad serves as a full point of sale system for businesses to accept payments, track inventory, and share menu and location information, while its free credit card reader works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Earlier this month the company updated its Square Card Case, an app that recognizes when a user is within 100 meters of a business that accepts it and automatically opens up a digital tab that the customer can pay just by giving their name in lieu of cash or credit card.

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