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Devices/smartphones

Friday Funding Roundup

Mobile communities are in the air in this week's wireless VC funding round-up.

Sonopia: The Menlo Park, Calif.-based mobile virtual network operator management company has grabbed a $12.7 million series B round led by Cardinal Venture Capital. Previous investors and "individuals from the credit card and mobile communications industries" also invested in this round, according to Sonopia's release.

Sonopia claims to make it possible for "anyone – whether a major corporation, a charity, a sports franchise, a professional organization, a university, a luxury brand, a neighborhood club or an entrepreneurial individual – to become a mobile carrier." Sonopia handles all the backend requirements and each party gets a portion of the money generated by subscribers’ monthly usage fees.

Sonopia says it can help deliver branded handsets, a customized user interface, and content for new virtual operators. All of which is intended to help smaller content providers build an online community around the specific mobile services.

The firm intends to spend the new money on bringing more of this virtual service to U.S. customers.

Frengo: Text message-based social networking startup Frengo grabbed $5.7 million in venture funding this week, in a round led by Trilogy Equity Partners. Prior investors also joined the round.

Frengo makes it possible for teenagers -- and people still pretending to be teenagers -- to get even more thumb-sore by enabling mobile dating, friend polls, and lots of other fun stuff.

Rx Networks: The Canadian location software company has received a $3.3 million series A from the British Columbia Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc. and Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T), bringing the total invested in the company to more than $4 million.

Rx supplies GPS assistance data for mobile devices, supposedly helping to locate users on a network more accurately. The funding will let Rx develop new technology and expand its sales and marketing efforts.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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