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Mobile Startups Grab $555M VC in September

Mobile-focused private companies grabbed $555 million in new VC funding in September, according to the industry watchers at Rutberg & Co.

September's total is a little off August's haul of $738 million, which was driven by Uber. Nonetheless, private companies in mobile have so far raised $6.1 billion in 814 deals in 2013, Rutberg & Co. notes.

Here are the highest earners:

Table 1: Top 5 Mobile VC Fundings in September

Startup Latest funding Location Developing Backers
Flipboard $50M Palo Alto, Calif. Mobile news aggregation app Goldman Sachs, Rizvi Traverse Management
MobileIron $47.5M Mountain View, Calif. Mobile enterprise device management N/A
HotelTonight $45M San Francisco Mobile hotel-booking app Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, Coatue Management, GGV Capital, First Round Capital, US Venture Partners
Benu Networks $26.6M Billerica, MA WiFi & Small cell systems for carriers Comcast Ventures, Spark Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures
Jawbone $20M Santa Monica, Calif. Connected devices Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital
Source: Rutberg & Co.

You might not be too shocked to learn that mobile user anonymity tools are becoming an interesting area for VC investors, too. Rutberg writes:

    This month saw four investments in companies whose products are centered on user anonymity or content impermanence. Whisper raised $15 million from Lightspeed Ventures and Sequoia Capital for its secret-sharing mobile application and website. Tic Toc Planet raised $6 million from SK Planet for its texting application with both anonymous and self-destruct features. Ad Hoc Labs raised $2 million from Founder Collective, TenOneTen, and Venrock for its mobile application that provides the user with a temporary phone number. Lastly, Ansa raised $300,000 from undisclosed investors for its messaging application with an optional self-destruct feature. We expect to see even further investment in the space as Snapchat continues to prove itself as a successful first-mover and media attention continues to focus on the government's privacy breaches.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 10/14/2013 | 3:38:33 PM
Re: App economy=app bubble Oh Yeah, BTW, what's the deal with Benu Networks. Going to find out more this week. Just interested if anyone has come across them in small cell world.
DanJones 10/14/2013 | 2:29:39 PM
Re: App economy=app bubble They better hope! Although there's only a select number of companies that could afford them at these valuations!
Sarah Thomas 10/14/2013 | 11:34:26 AM
Re: App economy=app bubble I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these new, well-funded apps become acquisition targets for those public traded companeis you mentioned.
DanJones 10/11/2013 | 10:34:38 PM
Re: App economy=app bubble Seems like we're in the betting on which apps will win in a particular sector phase.
kaop 10/11/2013 | 10:11:02 PM
Re: App economy=app bubble Telco, The valuation of mobile app companies are insane right now and it's only going to go higher.  Both Pandora and Yelp are valued at over $4B each right now.
kaop 10/11/2013 | 10:05:10 PM
Re: App economy=app bubble The simplicity and unique functionality of apps have advantages over mobile web.  This is partly due to the current mobile OSes and its designs.

With the exception of Facebook, Groupon, Yelp, Zillow, etc.  There aren't enough publicilly traded companies in the mobile app economy to be considered bubble yet. But we are headed that direction.
Telco 10/11/2013 | 9:34:10 PM
Re: App economy=app bubble Yes this valuation is saying killer applications, I am not sure there are that many killer apps.
mendyk 10/11/2013 | 5:44:02 PM
Re: App economy=app bubble The Mobile Casino is now open ...
DanJones 10/11/2013 | 4:35:56 PM
App economy=app bubble I feel like we've been here before. $45M for a hotel-booking app. Hundreds of millions for mobile transport apps. I wonder what stage we are at the mobile app bubble right now.
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