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The Best-Funded Mobile Startups of 2013

Dan Jones
8/14/2013
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The Top 5 Funded Private Companies in 2013

AirWatch LLC
Funding in 2013 so far:: US$225 million
Key investor/s: Insight Venture Partners
Chief executive officer: John Marshall
Number of employees: 400
Based in: Atlanta, Ga.
Company founded: 2003

AirWatch is an enterprise mobile device and application management company. It boasts over 7,000 customers globally and has been approved as a supplier of mobile software for the US government. Riding the wave of demand for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support amongst the enterprise community, the company pulled in a $200 million series A investment round in February, which it claims is the largest of any technology company in recent history. Much of the company's upper management came from Manhattan Associates, leading the supply chain software company through a successful IPO in 1998.

Supercell
Funding in 2013 so far:: US$130 million
Key investor/s in 2013: Index Ventures
Chief executive officer: Ilkka Paananen
Number of employees: 95
Based in: Helsinki, Finland
Company founded: June 2010

Supercell describes itself as a "tablet-first" games company, which started developing for the new devices in 2011 and now boasts a couple of super-popular iPad and iPhone games like Clash of Clans. It is reportedly the fastest growing games company in the world, making $2.4 million a day off a user base of more than 8 million players. Founded by a group of gaming veterans, Supercell claims a total valuation of $770 million. They also like to eat well.

Truphone Ltd.
Funding in 2013 so far:: US$118 million
Key investor/s in 2013: Roman Abramovich
Chief executive officer: Steve Robertson
Number of employees: 500
Based in: London, UK
Company founded: 2006

Truphone made headlines in the UK in February when Russian billionaire - and Chelsea soccer club owner -- Roman Abramovich pumped 70 million (US$118 million) into the company. Truphone, however, has a much longer history. It launched the first VoIP smartphone app in 2006 - invented by co-founder and CTO James Tagg - and has developed a global network to offer a SIM-based roaming program that offers low or local calling rates for users traveling internationally in over 200 countries via a reprogrammable SIM card.

Mobilitie LLC
Funding in 2013 so far:: US$100 million
Key investor/s in 2013: Shamrock Capital Growth Fund III
Chief executive officer: Gary Jabara
Number of employees: N/A
Based in: Newport Beach, Calif.
Company founded: 2005

Mobilitie's key play in wireless is building distributed antenna systems (DAS) that operate with all the major US carriers to improve coverage and capacity in crowded public areas. In 2012 and 2013, the company has been building DAS networks in stadiums such as Tropicana Field (MLB), Time Warner Arena (NBA), Arrowhead Stadium (NFL), and Nationwide Arena (NHL). Mobilitie has built out similar "host-neutral" coverage in major hotels such as the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Nest Labs
Funding in 2013 so far: US$80 million
Key investor/s in 2013: Google Ventures
Chief executive officer: Tony Fadell
Number of employees: 200
Based in: Palo Alto, Calif.
Company founded: 2010

Apple Inc. alumni Tony Fadell and Matt Rodgers - employees with a key role in creating the earlier generations of iPod and iPhone - started Nest Labs in 2010. The company has developed a $249 WiFi-enabled "smart thermostat" controlled via an iOS or Android app that it sells in the US. The thermostat is described as a "learning" device because it figures out what temperatures the user likes and turns down the temperature when they are out of the house.

 
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DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
10/21/2013 | 12:31:37 PM
Re: Truphone SIM? Anyone tried?
Good info, thanks!
Kruz
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Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/21/2013 | 6:24:19 AM
Re: Truphone SIM? Anyone tried?
Mobile Viber works well for me whenever I am abroad; it's totally convenient and requires no extra effort. Family likes it as well as customers. Only issue is it is banned in some GCC countries.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
10/19/2013 | 5:07:29 PM
Re-Do at the year's end for this report?
I think so:

 

Supercell & Uber have roared up the charts in the second half of the year.
framirez980
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framirez980,
User Rank: Light Beer
10/16/2013 | 6:05:57 PM
Re: Truphone SIM? Anyone tried?
all depends on your location  and travel - TMO coverage is great where I am - their rates are also some of the best- though prepay is starting to look attractive in light of all the privacy issues
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/16/2013 | 5:52:21 PM
Re: Truphone SIM? Anyone tried?
Nice if you're a T-Mobile subscriber, but not enough to get me to switch to T-Mo...at least not yet. We'll see what other "uncarrier" moves they have up their sleeves.
framirez980
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framirez980,
User Rank: Light Beer
10/16/2013 | 5:47:45 PM
Re: Truphone SIM? Anyone tried?
you might want to consider t-mobile's offers - they eliminated most voice and data international roaming fees

 
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/19/2013 | 2:49:48 PM
Updated with TOA Tech
The July funding brought in a $66M round for TOA Tech and put them in the chart.
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/15/2013 | 11:18:16 AM
Re: Truphone SIM? Anyone tried?
Truphone is a really interesting company attacking the very real problem of sky-high international rates. I have a SIM that I plan to try out next month when I'm gallivanting around Italy.

It's good to see a lot of infrastructure companies on the list, too. Can't forget about them in the face of all these shiny new mobile apps.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/15/2013 | 9:47:11 AM
Truphone SIM? Anyone tried?
Seems like I should grab one for my next trip back to the old continent.

 

Dan
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