Optical/IP Networks

3Guppies: Reelin' in the Kids?

There's already plenty of user-generated digital content out there that could be made mobile. But how can a humble consumer do that for himself without being tied to his cellular carrier?

Mobile content startup 3Guppies claims that it may have the answer with a new software widget that can be embedded on MySpace pages. The software lets users choose photos or videos to be sent to their cellphones or a friend's. The user simply enters a phone number and a message is sent to that phone with a link to the content.

"If we're going to open up the market for mobile content the obvious way is to open up for the kids," says 3Guppies CEO -- or "Big Fish" -- John Dearborn. "And the kids are on MySpace."

Dearborn says that because 3Guppies is trying to avoid being tied to a single carrier, it does all the reformatting and delivery of the online content so that it can be viewed on over 1,200 different types of handset. "It is not that easy on the phone side yet," he admits. "But it is as easy as we can make it."

Currently, Dearborn says, the startup is trying to build an audience, so it is handling the content conversions for free. Users don't even have to register at the company's Website. Eventually, Dearborn wants to add advertising and sponsorship to the mix. "In about three to six months," he predicts.

Meanwhile the company is working on similar content conversion widgets for Firefox and Internet Explorer and looking further ahead. "Why shouldn't you be able to right-click on a YouTube video and send that to your phone?" Dearborn asks.

3Guppies, which was formerly more heavily focused on mobile music as Mixxer, however, has some affinity with MySpace, since both companies have been funded by VC backer VantagePoint Venture Partners . 3Guppies has so far received $20 million in a series A round. Dearborn says that his company will be looking for more money later this year.

Dearborn is also pretty clear on the future for 3Guppies. "It is not the public markets, I'm certain of that," he says. "The ideal partner for us is a big media company that doesn't have mobile... know-how."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

mikerbjohnson 12/5/2012 | 3:05:50 PM
re: 3Guppies: Reelin' in the Kids? Love it. the real issue facing all the action in this domain is not necssarily around which content provider will win, but what platform will allow developers to customise the content. The phone is highly personalised, so if you give people the ability to personalise the content - well, you're on a winner. Yoober - an Asian start up, has a cool interface that is more apple than skype- and seems to be heading down the customising path. But who else in this area is doing this? There would have to be a lot more??
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:05:49 PM
re: 3Guppies: Reelin' in the Kids? mbuzzy seems to be working a similar path. There are more but mostly stealth at the moment as far as I can tell. We'll have more profile-type stories on this market soon.

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