At Xconomy’s very successful Mobile Madness event a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the vibrant mobile startup scene in Boston. Its not that mobile focused startups are new to Boston, but rather that the ecosystem “feels” vibrant at the moment. While the well-documented macro trend of the post-pc or “always connected” era is contributing to this, the bench strength of mobile entrepreneurs in the area is another driving factor (thanks to successful startups such as m-Cube/Verisign, enpocket/Nokia, TSM/AOL, Cardstar/Constant Contact, Where/Pay Pal, Quattro/Apple, Starent/Cisco).
While mobile innovation is occurring across the typical web categories of e-commerce, gaming and display/search advertising, the unique capabilities of phones/tablets are also enabling innovation across new areas such as payments, in-store shopping, personal healthcare, social collaboration, and marketing. In addition, software solutions are being developed across the mobile technology stack (eg, app management, crash reporting, analytics, app development, middleware, security etc).
To get a snapshot of the Boston startup ecosystem, I segmented angel/venture funded mobile startups into five areas – applications, marketing, commerce/payments, enterprise & infrastructure software/tools, and mobile operator technology. As in any segmentation exercise the boundaries are fluid with several of the companies crossing segments. For each company, I noted the CEO/founder, major venture backers and approximate amount raised to-date.
CommonAngels Fund is invested in four local mobile startups (in italics) – Apperian, Skyhook Wireless, Kibits, and Crashlytics.
Please let me know if I am missing anyone! (Updated April 15 – Crashlytics A round; Wikets; AisleBuyer sale to Intuit; MassChallenge alumni, Dexrex)
RunKeeper (FitnessKeeper) mobile fitness platform. Jason Jacobs. (Spark, OTV, Launch Capital, Revolution, Boston Seed – $12M)
MocoSpace mobile game community. Jamie Hall, Justin Siegel. (General Catalyst, Softbank – $11M)
Illume Software iZUP app for preventing drivers from getting distracted with cell phones. Daniel Ross (MTDC, angels – $6M)
SpringPad app for taking and saving notes. Jeff Janer, Jeff Chow, Jason Horman. (Fairhaven – $4M)
Ginger.io models user behavior from cell phone usage to make inferences about health and wellness. Anmol Maden. (True Ventures, Launch Capital, Eniac, Kapor – $1.7M)
Wikets app for recommending places and products to friends. Andy Park, Vijay Manwani, Ravi Reddy. (Battery Ventures, Andreessen-Horwitz – $1.5M)
Kibits real time group collaboration. Matt Cutler, Dave Greenstein. (CRV, Commonwealth, GC, Google, CommonAngels Fund, Launch Capital – $1M)
LuckyLabs casual games for mobile devices. Steve Kane. (Atlas – $1M)
BrassMonkey app that turns your phone into a controller. Chris Allen, Jim Bull. (Boston Seed, angels. MassChallenge – $750k)
LoseIt (FitNow) app for keeping track of diet and exercise. Charles Teague, JJ Allaire. (General Catalyst – $n/a)
HeyWire (MediaFriends/Integra5) text, photo sharing, twitter/FB chat app. Meredith Flynn-Ripley. (n/a)
Tap Lab location based games. Dave Bisceglia, Ralph Shao (TechStars, angels, MassChallenge – $550k)
EyeNetra eye diagnostic tool for mobile phones. David Schafran, Vitor Pamplona.
GymPact app for incentivizing exercise. Yifan Zhang, Geoﬀ Oberhofer. (TechStars)
Jaxx app that allows guys to create private social groups. Phil Mark, Ben Sobczak, Frank Horton.
Drync app for finding, managing, and buying wine, Brad Rosen. (Mass Challenge)
ByteLight enabling technology – uses LED lights to pinpoint indoor location for apps. Aaron Ganick.
Jumptap mobile ad network. George Bell, Jorey Ramer (General Catalyst, Redpoint, Summerhill, Valhalla – $94M)
Jana (Txteagle) platform for marketers to target emerging market consumers. Nathan Eagle. (Spark, RBC, Qualcomm – $10M)
SessionM game mechanics to improve app user engagement & loyalty. Lars Albright (Highland, KPCB iFund – $7M)
Zmags digital publishing for brands on mobile & tablet devices (also web). Michael Schreck. (OpenView, Northbank – $7M)
Fiksu mobile app user acquisition solution. Micah Adler. (CRV – $6M)
Celtra self serve mobile ad creation platform. Mihael Mikak. (Fairhaven, Grandbanks – $5M)
NexAge real time bidding platform for mobile impressions. Ernie Cormier, Devkumar Gandhi (Grandbanks, Blackberry – $5M)
Adelphic Mobile targeting platform for publishers and advertisers to run more effective mobile campaigns. Jennifer Lum, Changfeng Wang. (Matrix – $2M)
Media Armor tools to measure mobile display campaign effectiveness. Eric Brown, Elizabeth Zalman (Greycroft, iNova – $1.5M)
Survey on the Spot mobile surveys for customer & employee insight. Geoff Palmer, Ken Kimmel (Kepha, Angel Street – $750k)
Locately collects opt-in GPS information to better understand consumer behavior. Thaddeus Fulford-Jones, Drew Volpe, Eric Weiss. (angels, MassChallenge – $300k)
Appswell crowdsourcing platform for brands. Dan Sullivan. (TechStars)
SCVNGR location based games platform. LevelUp mobile payments platform. Seth Priebatsch. (Google Ventures, Highland – $20M)
Paydiant smartphone based mobile payments solution. Kevin Laracey, Chris Gardner, Joe Paratore. (Northbridge, General Catalyst – $8M)
AisleBuyer in store shopping & payments app . Andrew Paradise. (Old Willow Partners, Richard Heise, Jr. – $8M. Acquired by Intuit, April 2012)
Enterprise & infrastructure software/tools
Apperian enterprise software for mobile application management. David Patrick, Chuck Goldman. (Northbridge, CommonAngels Fund, Bessemer, KPCB iFund, Launch Capital – $24M)
Verivo (Pyxis Mobile) enterprise app development. Steven Levy, Todd Christy. (Commonwealth, Ascent, Egan – $24M)
Vivox voice platform for publishers. Rob Seaver, Jeff Pulver (Grandbanks, Canaan, Benchmark, IDG Ventures, Peacock – $23M)
Skyhook Wireless location positioning software. Ted Morgan, Mike Shean. (RRE, Bain Ventures, CommonAngels Fund – $17M)
Crashlytics provides crash reporting solution for developers. Jeff Seibert, Wayne Chang. (Flybridge, Baseline, CommonAngels Fund - $6M)
Viximo social, messaging, and engagement library for mobile app developers. Dale Strang, Sean Lindsey. (Northbridge, Sigma – $5M)
Mobiquity Mobile IT professional services. Bill Seibel. (Longworth, Sigma – $5M)
Modo Labs solutions/services for universities & enterprises using the Kurogo Open Source mobile platform. Andrew Yu. (Storm Ventures, New Magellan – $4M)
Localytics provides app & audience analytics for developers and marketers. Raj Aggarwal (TechStars, angels, MassChallenge – $3M)
Dexrex mobile message archiving. Joe Deliso, Derek Lyman, Richard Tortora (angels – $2.8M)
Kinvey provides cloud based services to developers. Sravish Sridhar (TechStars, Atlas, Avalon, Boston Seed – $2M)
ViziApps (MobiFlex) app development tool. George Adams, Michael Kuperstein. (Kofax – $500k)
Mobile operator technology
Movik Networks (Lyra Networks) platform to improve radio network utilization for mobile operators. John St. Amand, Ramji Raghavan. (Northbridge, Highland, Oak – $41M)
MobileAware provides mobile commerce and self care functionality to operators. Armin Gebauer. (Nauta Capital, Cross Atlantic – est $11M)