Friday Funding Roundup
Mobile banking is at the forefront of the mobile funding world this week as credit companies and others try to find more ways to facilitate mobile commerce.
DotMobi: Visa USA has made an unspecified investment in Dublin, Ireland-based mobile domain name provider dotMobi as it tries to push its own mobile payments system by working with operators and others in the wireless space.
DotMobi, which launched last September, is a consortium backed by Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), and 10 other major vendors and operators. The group's main purpose is to push the .mobi domain name with more than 450,000 signed up since it launched.
The investment in the consortium will gain Visa a seat on the board.
Valimo Wireless: The Helsinki, Finland-based Mobile signature company has grabbed what it describes as a "significant equity investment" led by Risto Siilasmaa, the founder and chairman of the board at security firm F-Secure Corp.
Valimo Wireless Ltd. 's system authenticates via phone's SIM card. It provides software and servers to an operator so that an operator can authenticate via encrypted signals over its network.
Mobile "signatures" are one way of securing banking and other transactions over mobile phones. Valimo has recently cut deals with Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) and Telefónica Móviles SA in Spain and claims that the subscribers with ready to use mobile signatures now number about 60 million subscribers.
Siilasmaa's investment in Valimo provides him a nearly 20 percent stake in the company and a seat on the board.
ZenZui: This new independent mobile user interface company spin-off from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has gathered $12 million Oak Investment Partners and Hunt Venture Partners. The company is using software developed by Redmond in its multi-window interface. (See The New 'face of Microsoft.)
Wireless Edge Canada: Calagary-based security software company Wireless Edge Canada Inc. has added another $2 million in funding and decided to change its name to Wedge Networks. “Our company has experienced a demand for its network acceleration and security solutions that goes far beyond our original wireless user base," says CEO Phil Gee to explain the name change.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung