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Mobile Content Nets VC Cash

Digital media startups pulled in more than $1 billion in funding in October with a sizeable portion of that going to mobile ventures, according to Rutberg & Co. . To be precise, that's $1.04 billion announced by 69 private digital media companies during the month. Rutberg analysts say the investments were primarily in the areas of advertising; advertising infrastructure; content publishing; and content provisioning and delivery.

The biggest deal on the mobile side of the house was $185 million in venture funding for mobile content delivery firm Motricity Inc. from Advanced Equities Inc. , Cyrus Capital Partners, and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) . The Durham, N.C.-based company also announced the $135 million buyout of InfoSpace Inc. 's mobile business in October, one of the larger mobile acquisitions last month. Maverick investor Carl Icahn already pumped $50 million into the firm back in February. (See Motricity Buying InfoSpace Mobile Biz and Friday Funding Roundup.)

Other interesting mobile investments during the month included:

  • Bluestreak Technology Inc. : A Canadian mobile TV infrastructure company that received $20 million from BDC Venture Capital , First Capital Group, and others.

  • Catalyst Mobile: This Emeryville, Calif.-based mobile music and entertainment firm grabbed $10 million from DCM - Doll Capital Management and Sofinnova Ventures Inc.

  • Melodeo Inc. : A mobile phone music delivery startup out of Seattle, Melodeo garnered $7.9 million from Ignition Partners , GF Capital, and Intel Capital .

  • PhoneCasting: A Kingwood, Texas-based company that got half a million from unnamed investors for "a service platform which enables users to listen to podcasts using a phone."

    According to Rutberg, investments in digital media are still largely happening in North America. European companies pulled in a mere $28.8 million for nine VC investments, or 2.8 percent of the overall $1.04 billion investment.

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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