Posts tagged Raises
ZoomSafer, developer of safe driving software for mobile phones, has raised an additional $1.1 million round of financing from White Birch Capital and SugarOak Holdings, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $3.35 million.
ZoomSafer provides risk management software to control and prevent employee use of mobile phones to text, email or browse the web while driving, which it says one of the most difficult challenges fleet operators face today.
For fleets equipped with smartphones, FleetSafer Mobile delivers an active policy enforcement solution that automatically prevents employees from texting, emailing or browsing the web while driving. For fleets equipped with any other type of mobile phone, the company also offers a cloud-based analytics service that enables companies to empirically measure employee use of phones while driving, with no on-device software required.
San Francisco-based Brooklyn Packet has raised $18 million in a first round of funding to make social games for mobile phones.
As part of the round, the company is changing its name to TinyCo, which in no way is representative of its ambitions.
The game-maker, which launched in 2009, has already reached profitability after releasing three iPhone titles, including Tiny Chef and Tap Resort. What’s more, it believes it has what it takes to build a $1 billion company over the next two to three years.
Those aggressive plans is likely what attracted big-name investors, like Andreessen Horowitz, which led TinyCo’s $18 million round, along with several super angels, including Ron Conway and Keith Rabois.
TinyCo builds mobile games that are free and supported by in-game virtual goods.
If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is.
In the past four years, Zynga has built a company valued close to $10 billion, by monetizing games on Facebook through virtual goods.
TinyCo’s two founders Suleman “Suli” Ali and Ian Spivey, who met each other in high school, said mobile has the potential to spawn great companies in the same way that Facebook did.
“The mobile opportunity is huge,” Spivey said. “Android is going to have 100 million new devices this year, and iOS will add 50 million more. Mobile is where Facebook was two years ago.”
Still, investors and entrepreneurs have been optimistic about the potential for mobile games before, and it hasn’t always gone so smoothly.
For Marc Andreessen, he admits mobile games have been “out of favor” for him for years.
“This is our first important investment in the mobile gaming category,” he said. “You needed the iPhone and other platforms, like Android and Windows Phone, WebOS and others, to make it happen. The market wasn’t ready before, and it didn’t matter how good the developers were.”
The company, which has 37 employees, is working next on launching games for Android, just in time for Google’s launch of in-app purchases, which is coming to the marketplace soon.
Andreessen said TinyCo is a “classic example of a startup with outstanding entrepreneurs. We are the first money in and its already profitable. That’s an incredible achievement with no investment.”
So, does TinyCo have the ability to be the Zynga of mobile?
Andreessen, who is also an investor in Zynga, wasn’t willing to go there, but added: “There’s going to be a whole series of mobile-centric franchises that are going to be much different compared to companies that built on the Web. mobile is a first-class opportunity.”
Dashwire, a mobile services platform, has raised nearly $1 million in a recent round of funding, according to an SEC filing. The Seattle, Wash.-based company previously raised $2.86 million over three rounds of funding in the last two years, and this latest round brings the company’s total financing to nearly $3.86 million.
Founded in 2006, the company provides mobile-web connected services to enable device makers, carriers, and retailers to provide device management software services on mobile phones. The mobile-plus-web platform is designed to help mobile users setup their phones, switch from one phone to another, and back-up everything on their phones and manage it all online. Using the Dashwire platform, users can automatically sync photos, videos, text messages, and contacts to a single Web-based dashboard where they can also manage their cell phone usage and send text messages from their computer desktop. And the service is free for consumers.
The Dashworks platform supports Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows, representing some 75% of all mobile phones being sold today.
The investors have not been disclosed, and the company could not be reached for comment, but among its previous investors are Best Buy Capital, the investment arm of the electronics retailer, Best Buy; Serena Glover, who was previously the co-founder of Twango, Inc. and a director at Nokia and Microsoft; Mikal Thomsen, co-founder of the private investment firm Trilogy Partnership; Geoff Entress, a partner at Voyager Capital; Ying Zeng; and Ford Davidson, Dashwire’s founder and CEO.
The company has stated its goal of acquiring 300 million active users by the end of 2011, so the financing will presumably be used towards that end.
“We have a number of projects that we’re going to be shipping this fall,” said Davidson in a recent interview with Xconomy. “We raised a small amount of money just to insure that we hit those milestones and have enough cash to ship those products, so that we can do a larger funding round later in the year.”
Davidson also revealed in the interview that the company started out as a direct-to-consumer business, and “as we got some coverage, all these companies in the industry came to talk to us about how we could help them,” said Davidson, who added that the company decided, at that point, to shift to a licensee program in 2009.
While the company has not yet reached profitability, Davidson told Xconomy that Dashwire is on track to generate $1 million in revenue this year.
Image source: dashwire.com
Taiwan Semiconductor Posts Record Profit, Raises Spending July 29, 2010, 5:46 AM EDT
By Tim Culpan
July 29 (Bloomberg) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest custom manufacturer of chips, posted record quarterly profit and raised its spending budget more than 20 percent as demand for phone components increases.
Second-quarter net income climbed 65 percent to NT$40.3 billion ($1.3 billion), from NT$24.4 billion a year earlier, the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company said in a statement today. The average of 19 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for profit of NT$36.5 billion.
Taiwan Semiconductor joins Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., the two largest chipmakers, in posting record earnings from semiconductors as the global economy rebounds and consumers in emerging markets buy more electronic devices. TSMC, an industry bellwether because it supplies components used by companies including Apple Inc. and Sony Corp., increased its equipment budget to $5.9 billion after chip designers raised their forecasts.
“Shipments jumped in the second quarter, indicating strong end-market demand for consumer electronics during the traditional low season,” Amigo Liu, who rates TSMC “outperform” at KGI Securities Co. in Taipei wrote in a report today before the announcement. “In the third quarter, shipments will continue to grow due to rising orders from major international handset manufacturers.”
The chipmaker’s Taipei-traded shares closed unchanged at NT$63 today and have lost 2.3 percent this year compared with a 4.8 percent decline in the benchmark Taiex index. TSMC is the largest component on the gauge. Shares of its nearest rival, United Microelectronics Corp., have dropped 16 percent over the same period.
Taiwan Semiconductor will spend $5.8 billion on equipment for its chip-manufacturing business, and a further $100 million on new businesses, including solar power and light-emitting diodes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Morris Chang said at an investors’ conference today in Taipei. TSMC in January forecast spending of $4.8 billion for this year.
“We have a responsibility to our customers to do our utmost to respond to their demand,” Chang said today. “Their demand for this year, and their demand for next year, have both risen since January.”
Chang, who founded the company 23 years ago, on June 15 raised his forecast for global chip-industry sales to 30 percent, citing stronger demand from “fast-growing developing economies.” That was the second upward revision this year. Chang, 79, projected 18 percent growth in January.
Intel, the world’s biggest chipmaker, on July 13 posted $2.9 billion profit for the second quarter and forecast third- quarter sales that surpassed analyst estimates as corporate spending helps spur demand for chips that power notebook and server computers. The company said in a press statement it was its best quarterly result.
Samsung, the No. 2 chipmaker, posted record operating income of 5 trillion won ($4.2 billion) for last quarter, driven by demand for memory chips used in Apple’s iPhone, as well as computers and digital cameras.
HTC Corp., the world’s largest maker of phones using Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. operating systems, today forecast record third-quarter sales of NT$70 billion as demand for smartphones that connect to the Internet surge. Mobile phone shipments may increase 11 percent globally this year, according to research company IDC.
Sales at made-to-order chip foundries, of which TSMC is the leader, will climb 40 percent this year, Chang said today, higher than an earlier 36 percent forecast. Foundry market revenue will climb next year, Chang said without providing a figure.
Sales Will Climb
TSMC revenue will climb to between NT$109 billion and NT$111 billion this quarter, Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho said today. That figure would be a record and beats the NT$106.8 billion average of 15 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company forecast an average exchange rate of NT$31.87 per U.S. dollar for the third quarter.
Second-quarter revenue, reported earlier, climbed 41 percent to a record NT$105 billion, surpassing the NT$101 billion average of 19 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Inventories in the chip supply chain will rise this quarter while staying below the seasonal average, Chang said today.
–Editors: Mark McCord, Aaron Sheldrick.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at email@example.com.