In the era of smartphones, tablets and myriad connected devices, along with increasing appification in the traditional browser and desktop, mobile at once defies and transcends categorization. However, numerous born-mobile technologies make software work better on-the-go, and connected devices “in the wild” enable exciting new services.
Scale Venture Partners seeks new investments that combine content, functionality, location and monetization in apps and mobile sites that can be useful, fun or both. ScaleVP companies Glu Mobile and PlayPhone first scaled their businesses on featurephones and then evolved to Mobile 2.0 by adding the content and business models prevalent today’s market: social connections and marketing, in-app payments and app store distribution. Their new directions also informed the mobile strategies of our other companies. For example, Everyday Health is now the largest health and wellness publisher on iOS and Android.
The intersection of local + mobile + social is exploding with opportunities to engage both consumers and businesses with targeted marketing, fun experiences and helpful services like navigation and reviews. ScaleVP is specifically looking for new investments that build on our successes in local marketing by adding location information to the marketing mix. We’re also exploring other geo services such as mapping and messaging.
ScaleVP has been active in mobile messaging since people first began to text and email with their phones. We invested in the original Good Technology on the premise that open developer stacks on diverse hardware would break Research in Motion’s stranglehold on mobile email, which proved correct. In addition, our portfolio company mBlox is one of the largest and earliest aggregators of SMS and Premium SMS across carriers, enabling mobile commerce, notifications and marketing. Currently, we are excited about mobile devices becoming payments platforms, and by how social connections are transforming mobile messaging.
New computing platforms always spawn new constellations of opportunities. Smartphones, and how people and businesses use them, are creating new markets in carrier infrastructure, personal and business security, systems management, device personalization and other segments entrepreneurs are just beginning to imagine.
If you are an entrepreneur exploring these areas, we want to hear from you.