Vodafone heads funding for Joyn developer, aims to gain OTT traction

Vodafone Ventures is leading an $8.3 million (€6.3 million) investment in Joyn developer Jibe Mobile to help the operator gain traction in the over-the-top services market.

This funding round, which is also being joined by Tokyo-based games creator MTI, will help U.S.-based Jibe Mobile continue with the development of its cloud-based platform and APIs that targets developers who want to integrate Joyn or RCS 5 into their apps.

In late November Vodafone Spain, along with Telefónica's Movistar and Orange Spain, launched Joyn service in Spain. The operators are turning to the GSMA-backed initiative to counter OTT messaging players and maintain value with customers.

"The investments from Vodafone Ventures and MTI will help us continue to innovate and extend our platform," Jibe Mobile's co-founder and CEO Amir Sarhangi said in a statement. "We look forward to the next stage and ongoing strong partnerships with our expanding carrier and developer network."

"Developers need an easy way to enable these capabilities inside their application, and they'll be able to do that using Jibe," Sarhangi told FierceBroadbandWireless, explaining that the company's APIs are designed to help developers rapidly incorporate real-time rich communications, including voice, video and low-latency data into mobile apps.

Sarhangi predicted RCS will eventually replace SMS, at which point developers will be able to turn to Jibe to create and deliver messaging-based offerings rather than going to carriers or aggregators such as Urban Airship.

Jibe's emerging revenue model will be based on traditional licensing as well as software-as-a-service (SaaS) fees for operators that leverage the company's cloud services.

For more:
- see this Jibe Mobile release
- see this FierceBroadbandWireless article

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