What wireless companies are venture capitalists investing in this year?

In 2000, the sum of equity invested in the wireless industry peaked at $3.79 billion, according to The MoneyTree Report by PwC and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters. This same figure in 2011 to-date is the lowest it has been in a decade, with only $1.62 billion invested. Even without this year's partial data, the average amount invested between 2000 and 2010 was $1.18 billion. Not since 2007 has the equity invested even passed $1 billion.

Sources: The MoneyTree Report by PwC and NVCA based on data from Thomson Reuters.

Why would this huge discrepancy in venture capital exist? Factors include the shifting economy and the merging and acquiring of companies, as well as the market becoming saturated with players. Still, as new advancements in mobile advertising, broadband and other hot fields emerge, a new crop of venture capitalists will follow.

The themes for 2011, so far, indicate a renewed interest in mobile messaging and advancements in mobile broadband technology. GOGII, whose product textPlus enables free, group SMS, has raised more than $15 million this year. And 4Info, the sixth greatest receiver of VC funding for 2011, also uses mobile messaging; the company provides real-time directory information and other alerts via text messages.

In terms of mobile broadband, Movik Networks has already raised more than $25 million for developing multimedia software for mobile broadband operators. Meantime, SkyCross' almost $11 million will help the company provide antenna-centric radio-frequency (RF) solutions for mobile phones, while IPWireless' $6 million will continue to fund its pursuits developing mobile and broadband technologies, such as its TD-CDMA technology.

The following list is compiled from data provided by the NVCA and represents the top venture capital deals in the first three quarters of this year in the wireless industry.

Curious how these numbers have changed over the past years? Check out our coverage of the last 10 years in VC exits in mobile.


Sources: The MoneyTree Report by PwC and NVCA based on data from Thomson Reuters.

Company Investors What they do Where based Sum of Equity
Movik Networks Oak Investment Partners, Highland Capital Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners
Movik Networks develops multimedia software for mobile broadband operators. It focuses on delivering solutions that bring content and application awareness to mobile networks.
Littleton, Mass. $25.03M
GOGII  GRP Partners, Matrix Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers GOGII is a mobile communications technology company that provides customers with text messaging through its product, textPlus (a free, ad-supported real, group and community texting app for iOS and Android).
Marina del Rey, Calif. $15M
mBlox Norwest Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Novus Ventures, Trident Capital, Avanti Capital, EDBI mBlox, a mobile transaction network, provides operator connectivity and mobile billing capabilities to businesses and offers mobile messaging delivery, technical support, testing and integration, financial settlement and market regulatory standards compliance services.
Sunnyvale, Calif. $13.84M
Clickatell   Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures Clickatell provides bulk SMS messaging solutions through a SMS Gateway, which integrates into existing messaging systems or apps, allowing developers and integrators access to bulk global SMS delivery through an SMS messaging platform.
Redwood City, Calif. $12M
SkyCross DoCoMo Capital, TL Ventures, Investor Growth Capital, Gabriel Venture Partners, Intel Capital SkyCross provides antenna-centric radio-frequency solutions for handsets, home entertainment and computing industries. Its technologies enable delivery of voice, data, video, and location services to a wide range of very small devices.
Viera, Fla. $10.76M
4INFO Gannett, Vulcan Capital, Mitsui Global Investment, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, U.S. Venture Partners 4Info provides text message alerts and local directory and real-time information and entertainment messages as responses to a search query or as alerts on select subjects. San Mateo, Calif. $10M
InSite Wireless Group Catalyst Investors InSite Wireless Group operates communications facilities for wireless and broadcast industries. It manages open access infrastructure solutions engages in financing, designing, constructing, and leasing shared distributed antenna system locations for wireless carriers.
Alexandria, Va. $6.25M
IPWireless N/A IPWireless develops wireless technology for wireless Internet access. It develops mobile broadband and multimedia including its TD-CDMA technology.
San Francisco, Calif. $6.08M
Valencell Best Buy Capital, True Ventures Valencell develops vital signs and activity monitoring solutions for mobile communications, gaming, consumer electronics, fitness, wellness, military, medical, clinical and first responders markets.
Raleigh, N.C. $5.5M
Quofore ABS Capital Partners Quofore develops and markets a software solution targeted at consumer products (CP). The software drives companies' management and execution of field sales, merchandising, store audits, van sales and direct delivery activities.
Atlanta, Ga. $5.25M
Sources: The MoneyTree Report by PwC and NVCA based on data from Thomson Reuters.
What wireless companies are venture capitalists investing in this year?