Based: Cambridge, MA
Why it's Fierce: There was a lot of talk early on that juggernaut Google would transfer its dominance from the wired Internet world to the mobile Web. But mobile operators want a piece of the mobile search pie and have turned to white-label mobile-oriented vendors to do it. JumpTap has come to the forefront of this trend, inking public deals with Alltel and MVNOs Boost and Virgin Mobile. It's also speculated that JumpTap is behind AT&T's mobile search efforts and the firm says it has a number of unannounced deals. JumpTap's modular Mobile Search Platform (MSP) uses an intuitive user interface and a mobile-specific search engine complete with a turnkey advertising suite that pays carriers for user-selected sponsored links. And because JumpTap developed the solution with mobility in mind, MSP incorporates location-based services, personalization and WAP gateway integration and handset control.
What to look for: JumpTap is sitting in the intersection of the industry's two hottest trends: mobile search and mobile advertising. Look for the company to expand on two fronts. It will aggressively compete for more white-label deals both domestically and internationally. And it will work to offer the broadest suite of mobile advertising capabilities to generate additional revenues for its carrier partners. Search capabilities combined with a holistic ad platform are already having an impact as major brands, media companies and advertising agencies are flocking to incorporate wireless as a source of new customers, revenue and distribution.