Matrixx Software has raised $5 million from PLDT Capital, the investment arm of Filipino telco PLDT, and signed up the operator's mobile subsidiary SMART as its latest customer.
The Silicon Valley-based vendor is one of several startups looking to address telco requirements for more advanced and flexible IT systems as communications service providers (CSPs) develop digital services.
Earlier this month, Light Reading reported that Matrixx Software Inc. was due to announce details of new customer relationships and a new round of funding. At the time, Jennifer Kyriakakis, Matrixx's vice president of marketing, indicated there is a particularly strong appetite for Matrixx's software in the fiercely competitive mobile markets of the Asia-Pacific region. (See Matrixx Lines Up New Customers, Funding.)
SMART, which served around 24 million prepaid and postpaid subscribers in December, will make use of Matrixx's real-time digital commerce platform, allowing customers to manage mobile account usage and spending and tailor their own service offerings.
"We're transforming the customer experience, and we chose Matrixx Software because its technology and performance is unmatched, and they are able to help drive the PLDT Group's digital vision more rapidly than anyone else," said Winston Damarillo, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) 's chief strategy advisor and the co-managing director of PLDT Capital, in a company statement endorsing Matrixx's technology.
Matrixx's other customers include Australian incumbent Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS), Vodafone New Zealand and Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), while the investment arms of Swisscom and Telstra have also participated in previous funding rounds.
The $5 million that Matrixx has raised from PLDT Capital comes on top of five previous funding rounds since the company's founding in 2009.
Matrixx managed to raise $33.6 million in three of those rounds, and Light Reading believes the as-yet-undisclosed May 2014 round that was led by Telstra Ventures generated more than $13 million.
Details of the amounts raised in an April 2012 round led by Swisscom Ventures were also undisclosed.
This year could be a game-changing one for Matrixx following its important tie-up in January with Vlocity Inc. , a cloud software company that has itself raised $42.8 million in a funding round led by Salesforce.com Inc. .
That strategic partnership has given Matrixx front-end, omnichannel and CRM capabilities it had previously lacked, according to Kyriakakis, who told Light Reading earlier this month that around half of the conversations Matrixx is having with prospective customers are about using the service developed with Vlocity.
The alliance also raises the possibility that Salesforce -- whose platform underpins Vlocity's technology -- could be eyeing an investment in Matrixx, or even an acquisition of the software company.
"I think you'll see Salesforce pushing more into the communications space with a B2C offering," said Kyriakakis in early March when asked if other strategic partnerships were in the pipeline.
Service providers using Matrixx's technology have already seen major benefits, according to Kyriakakis.
Telstra has witnessed a 40-50% drop in call center traffic since it began working with the company, she says, while its average revenue per user has risen by 5% as customer transactions have moved online.
— Iain Morris, , News Editor, Light Reading