& 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
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (0) comments


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: Payment From Every Device

3|21|17   |   5:55   |   (0) comments


A world where everything and everyone is connected creates new points of interaction for commerce. These digital experiences cannot be developed in isolation and instead require an ecosystem to drive mass consumer and enterprise adoption and create better consumer engagement. Predicting when that growth will happen is difficult, but always keeping the end user in ...
LRTV Interviews
InterDigital's Role in the 5G, IoT Era

3|21|17   |   05:47   |   (0) comments


Alan Carlton, managing director and VP for Europe at InterDigital, talks about the company's role in 5G projects in Europe and the prospects for the company in the IoT market.
LRTV Interviews
Lessons Learned From Digital Transformation

3|21|17   |   05:51   |   (0) comments


Ravi Palepu, global head of Telco Solutions at Virtusa, talks about some key takeaways from telco digital transformation experiences during the past couple of years.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
NetNumber's CMO Shares Her Diversity Do's

3|21|17   |   3:19   |   (2) comments


The telecom industry is transforming the world, and diversity plays a critical role in driving the innovation behind it. NetNumber CMO Kim Gibbons shares why diversity and being authentic is a do amidst all the don'ts women in comms often hear.
LRTV Custom TV
Software-Driven Architecture for 5G & IOT

3|20|17   |   1:56   |   (0) comments


We present Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges's report from Mobile World Congress -- where operators and vendors are working to bring a variety of technologies together to make virtualization a reality in the era of 5G and IoT.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: Italy First Pasta the Post for 5G
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/17/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
5G Faces a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.