Where it's based: Deerfield, Fla.
When it was founded: 2005
Why it's Fierce: Myxer's goal is to bring "the spirit and the scale of the Internet and apply it to mobile," according to CEO Myk Willis. Myxer's founders came from enterprise software company Citrix Systems.
The result is a Web site that allows users to upload their own music from their personal collection and create custom ringtones. The service also allows users to share their creations. Myxer boasts 21 million customers and 50 million downloads per month. Although the company's platform supports a variety of types of content (Myxer transmits 1 million video streams per month), 80 percent of the company's business is still centered on ringtones. Think: the original Napster, but for ringtones.
Myxer stamped out its position when feature phones were the hot sellers in wireless. Now, with the rise of smartphones, open operating systems and all-powerful app stores, the company contends its role remains as relevant as ever.
Myxer's Willis said that app stores are a "temporal anomaly" and that lasting mobile content strategies won't be tied to specific hardware or operating systems. He pointed to the company's mission--to bring the spirit and the scale of the Internet and apply it to mobile--as evidence for the strategy. Indeed, most Internet players like Yahoo and Google provide online services regardless of hardware and operating systems. "The thing that matters is the Net," Willis contends.
That said, Myxer is working to expand into a variety of areas, with the goal of distributing its offerings across the Internet via widgets, rather than on its branded site. An example is the company's indie music effort, which allows unsigned bands to sell ringtones through Myxer's content delivery service.
What's next: Willis said Myxer plans to expand its apps and games offerings, and to engage advertisers with various branded-content opportunities.