Investment Led by Firsthand Technology Value Fund Will Fuel Expansion and Accelerate Its Multiscreen Platform Investments
Austin, TX (PRWEB) [March 18, 2014] – Phunware, the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS), the first fully integrated services platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime anywhere users worldwide, today announced that it has raised $26.25 million of Series E funding led by Firsthand Technology Value Fund (NASDAQ: SVVC). The balance of the oversubscribed $30 million funding round is expected to close in the next 60 days.
The initial closing of the round includes additional investment by current investors Fraser McCombs Ventures, Maxima Ventures, Wild Basin Investment and the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), as well as new strategic investors Cisco and WWE (NYSE: WWE). The investment brings the total raised by Phunware to $43M. With the investment, Kevin Landis, Chairman and President of Firsthand, and Chase Fraser, Managing Partner of Fraser McCombs Capital, join Phunware’s board of directors.
Founded in 2009, and headquartered in Austin, Phunware has achieved dramatic growth since inception and closed 2013 with revenues of $22.1M. The company currently supports more than 1 trillion annual transactions on its “multiscreen cloud platform” across nearly 190 countries and 10 languages. Phunware, The Software of Things™, is ranked # 36 on the Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies, # 40 on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies and # 1 on Austin Business Journal’s Fast50 list for Central Texas. The company is responsible for multiscreen infrastructure, software and application development services for an impressive list of top-tier customers including E! Entertainment Television, NBC Sports, WWE, NASCAR, CBS, Qualcomm, Edmunds, Jawbone, HomeAway, Turner, UHealth, Transamerica, King, Warner Brothers, AT&T and Adobe amongst many others.
“Phunware has proven its ability to support the largest brands in the world on the largest stages in the world at scale,” said Kevin Landis, Chairman and President of Firsthand. “We are extremely excited to be joining the Phunware team and equally enthusiastic about the company’s multiscreen platform vision for the future.”
Forrester estimates that the Mobile Services Market will soar to $32.4 billion globally by 2018[i] and that mobile engagement providers will need strong end-to-end competencies in order to act as providers of record. In parallel, eMarketer estimates that Mobile Ad Spending will balloon to $72.3 billion by 2017[ii], up nearly 10 times over 2012 spending levels. As a result, there is market opportunity exceeding $100 billion for those brands interested in engaging, managing and monetizing the 50 billion connected devices expected to compose the Internet of Things by 2020[iii].
Phunware’s fully-integrated, native and mobile-first solutions make it easy for any brand to add multiscreen application support for content management, location based services, advertising, alerts and notifications and business intelligence and analytics through the use of a single login on a single platform with a single partner. This unique and comprehensive solutions-based approach reduces both the cost and complexity that brands have been forced to tolerate historically with an ecosystem filled with fragmented, incomplete and non-integrated point products.
“We continue to have a very ambitious vision for Phunware – to enable our customers to engage, manage and monetize every connected device on Earth,” commented Alan S. Knitowski, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Phunware. “We have achieved tremendous growth since inception and this new funding will further accelerate our MaaS platform investments and geographic reach in supporting the multiscreen goals and objectives of our brands’ anytime anywhere audiences globally. 50 billion devices will mean 50 billion opportunities … and we intend to touch them all.”
For more information about current and upcoming products, as well as case studies from Phunware’s impressive list of global brands, please visit www.phunware.com.
Phunware is the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS), the first fully integrated services platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime anywhere users worldwide. Phunware, The Software of Things™, has introduced category-defining experiences that challenge the outer limits of the most advanced connected devices for the world’s most respected brands and develops next-generation technologies and solutions that transform how the world interacts with and uses these connected devices. The company has a 4 year percentage growth of 17,824% and is ranked # 36 on the Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies, # 40 on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies and # 1 on Austin Business Journal’s Fast50 list for Central Texas. For more information, please visit www.phunware.com and follow us on Twitter @phunware.
About Firsthand Technology Value Fund
Firsthand Technology Value Fund, Inc., is a publicly-traded venture capital fund that invests in technology and cleantech companies. The Fund offers retail investors an opportunity to invest in pre-IPO companies that typically are available only to institutional and high net worth investors. More information about the Fund and its holdings can be found online at www.firsthandtvf.com.
About Fraser McCombs Ventures
Fraser McCombs Ventures, LP, specializes in early and mid stage technology investments, with a focus in mobile and niche technology within specific verticals. For more information, please visit www.fmcap.com.
About Maxima Ventures
Maxima Ventures are investment vehicles under the management of Maxima Capital Management, Inc., which is based in Taiwan and specializes in early and mid stage investments in technology, supply chain, e-commerce and mobile applications. For more information, please visit www.maximavc.com.
About Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN)
The Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), an organized Angel Investing network of approximately 120 members, is one of the largest Angel Networks in the nation. In 2013 alone, CTAN led the nation in deal flow[iv] and ranked # 4 for invested capital, funding 33 companies for over $9.6M. CTAN was founded in 2007, and has invested over $40M in approximately 90 startup companies.
WWE, a publicly traded company, is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Munich and Tokyo. Additional information on WWE can be found at www.wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.
i John C. McCarthy and Ted Schadler, with Khalid Kark and Nancy Wang, “Wanted: Mobile Engagement Providers,” Forrester Research, August 6, 2013.
ii “Across Industries, Mobile Ad Spend Increases Dramatically,” eMarketer, January 2, 2014.
iii Jeffrey Burt, “Cisco CEO Chambers to Focus on Internet of Everything at CES,” eWEEK.com, January 6, 2014.
iv Christopher Calnan, “Austin-area angel investing tops the nation,” October 16, 2013.