& cplSiteName &

2010 Top Ten: Startups to Watch

Sarah Thomas
12/24/2010
50%
50%

2010 was a big year for new companies breaking on the scene to shake up the status quo and show consumers they can do more with their wireless service and, sometimes, less with their cable subscription.

For our list of ten startups to watch in 2011, we picked hot companies working in hot markets. They may not have made it big yet, but in many cases, neither has the market they are looking to kick-start. Our main criterion here was potential.

In terms of other, more measurable, requirements to be one of the startups of 2010 to watch, we also looked for companies that have received some decent amount of funding and that were founded within the past four years -- the gating factor for most.

Long Term Evolution

LightSquared



Harbinger Capital Partners LP -backed LightSquared gives new meaning to the term "ambitious" with its plans to offer wholesale capacity on its own hybrid network of satellite and terrestrial LTE spectrum. Next year will be a pivotal one for LTE, so the stealthy startup's progress on bringing wireless broadband connectivity to 92 percent of the US will be worth keeping an eye on. (See Harbinger Hatches LTE Challenger in US, LightSquared Lands $850M for LTE Build , and LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers.)

Small Cells

AirHop
  • San Diego, Calif.
  • Founded: 2007
  • Primary Product: Self-organizing network (SON) software for LTE
  • Funding: $1 million


SON capabilities are going to play a role in LTE as a cheap way of filling in coverage holes and mitigating interference, and AirHop Communications Inc. is evangelizing the concept. It's a concept that is resonating with operators, too. Most, including Verizon Wireless , plan to make distributed network concepts part of their deployment plans. (See 4G Startup Revs LTE Automation and Startup Challenges AlcaLu's Single-Vendor LTE .)

Mobile Data

Skyfire
  • Mountain View, Calif.
  • Founded: 2006
  • Primary Product: Full-featured Web browser overlay built on the Webkit core of Safari and native Android browsers
  • Funding: $22.8 million


Skyfire Inc. can already claim that it brought Flash to the iPhone and eventually, the iPad. But, its main appeal is that it gives wireless operators a way to reduce data strain on their networks. Videos viewed on Skyfire save 75 percent of bandwidth compared to Flash. Next year will be big for the company as it seeks to sell carriers on its browser alternative. (See Skyfire Sets Sights on iPad, Carriers.)

Mobile Gaming

Zynga
  • San Francisco
  • Founded: 2007
  • Primary Product: Social game network
  • Funding: $26.8 million


Zynga Inc. doesn't have a huge presence on mobile -- yet. The Farmville and Mafia Wars-maker is looking to make a big mobile push in 2011, starting with its acquisition of mobile game developer NewToy and its first game designed for the mobile Web, Mafia Wars Atlantic City. It already has 10 million downloads on mobile, but its online user base is 215 million, so there's room to grow. (See Deal Watch: Motorola Heads for 4Home.)

Mobile Video

Thwapr
  • New York, NY
  • Founded: 2007
  • Primary Product: Mobile-to-mobile content sharing
  • Funding: $4 million


Thwapr Inc. 's cloud-based mobile video sharing platform lets consumers share content like videos and pictures between nearly any phone on any network via SMS or email. Video sharing has interesting use cases that tie in mCommerce and geolocation, but interoperability is the limiting factor that Thwapr aims to solve. It also helps that the startup's CTO Eric Hoffert invented QuickTime in his Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) days.

Mobile Web

Taptu
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Founded: 2007
  • Primary Product: Mobile search engine optimized for touchscreen devices
  • Funding: About $14.6 million


Touchscreens have become table stakes for mobile phone design, and Taptu helps content owners think in a touch-Web frame of mind, not just mobile Web. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is already exploring browser apps with Taptu. Next year should see more carriers following its lead, making Taptu an attractive partner or potential acquisition target. (See Sprint Tackles Browser-Based Apps.)

Smart Grid

EnergyHub
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Founded: 2007
  • Primary Product: Home energy management hardware and software
  • Funding: $7 million


EnergyHub Inc. lets consumers track and control the energy use of everything in their homes. Having this much presence in all corners of the home is a goal of broadband providers as well. EnergyHub already works with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) PowerMeter, and our guess is that telcos will be curious about the whole-home tech next year as well.

Cable

BNI Video
  • Boxborough, Mass.
  • Founded: 2009
  • Primary Product: Video back-office, or control plane, software to manage cable's use of traditional video-on-demand (VoD) platforms and content delivery networks (CDNs)
  • Funding: $16 million


BNI Video is backed by cable giants interested in seeing TV Everywhere take off, and it's poised to cause trouble for VOD back-office incumbents such as SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) and Tandberg Television . We're already hearing that they've replaced those two in some cable systems. (See Cable Guys Buck Up for BNI Video .)

Over-the-Top

Clearleap
  • Duluth, Ga.
  • Founded: 2007
  • Primary Product: IP-based content management and delivery platform bridging Internet content with non-IP digital set-tops
  • Funding: $17.3 million


Over-the-top video has been the single biggest threat to cable and IPTV providers this year, and Clearleap offers a way to compete even if their set-top boxes aren't up to speed. The young company has already won a ton of deals, including with telcos, cable providers, and the content owners themselves. Plus, it has a budding consumer electronics-focused strategy in the works. (See Clearleap Aims to Make Web Video a Commodity, Clearleap Jumps on First Win, Clearleap, Roku Shop Web Video Combo to Cable, and Clearleap Reels In a Big Fish .)

Video Software

Jinni
  • Tel Aviv
  • Founded: 2007
  • Primary Product: A mood-based search and recommendation engine for premium video content
  • Funding: $5.1 million


GoogleTV was Jinni Media Ltd. 's first big customer, but it's also got a deal with Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG) under its belt and is eyeing the cable market next. The set-top-box market is a hard one to crack, but the more choices service providers add to their channel lineups, the more a service like Jinni's make sense. (See Jinni Locks In Its A Round .)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Readingís Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
LIVE NOW!
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
LRTV Custom TV
BT's Openreach Has High Hopes for Long-Reach VDSL

11|11|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Peter Bell, Network Portfolio CIO at BT's access business Openreach, talks about the operator's trial of a new broadband access technology called Long Reach VDSL.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Debuts DirecTV Now on New Video Platform
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/28/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Samsung Bows to Investors, Considers Revamp
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.