A Swedish mobile technology startup Mobile Sorcery has gotten a Series A investment of undisclosed sum
a second round seed investment of 1.5 million Swedish Kronor (around 145.000 EUR or 206.000 USD)(Correction: the actual investment was a lot bigger, “a proper A round”, yet the exact sum is undisclosed) from MySQL founders David Axmark and Michael Widenius, and STING (Stockholm Innovation and Growth) Capital private equity fund. Majority of this round’s investment came Axmark and Widenius, while for STING this was the second investment in Mobile Sorcery.
Tomas Uppgård, the CEO of Mobile Sorcery, commented to ArcticStartup the firm was searching internationally for funding since beginning of 2008, looking to finalize the round by the end of the year. The market collapse delayed the process considerably, but finally the firm was able to get multiple offers. There will likely be a new round soon next year.
According to Pär Hedberg, CEO of STING Capital, the investors were attracted by Mobile Sorcery’s skilled team of serial entrepreneurs, and the real mobile industry problem the company’s product solves. The company also has clear international growth potential. David Axmark and Michael Widenius on the other hand will likely play a big part in the firm’s monetization plans.
The investment will be used to allow Mobile Sorcery fully focus on finalizing their MoSync product. MoSync is a tool, SDK, for easy deployment of mobile applications and services written in standard C/C++ across different mobile platforms. MoSync currently supports J2ME, Windows Mobile, and Symbian. According to Tomas, the firm ported the open source version of Wolfestein 3D as a proof of concept to Windows Mobile and Symbian within one day using MoSync. Tomas also added that also Android and iPhone support are under way and introduced within a few months.
From October onwards, Mobile Sorcery will offer MoSync as open source software. For monetization the firm will pursue a dual licensing model, in implementing of which Axmark and Widenius without a question can help tremendously with the experience from MySQL. So far Mobile Sorcery has had 5000 downloads for its software, and has teamed up with Intel and a Swedish startup as their pilot customers.
The future for Mobile Sorcery looks quite good. Many developers focusing solely on iPhone are beginning to notice the marketplace is not at all as lucrative as they initially thought due to the increased competition. More and more developers consider making their apps available on another platforms as well. Also firms wanting go mobile and to serve the majority of the mobile market will need to come up with a cross-platform support solution. As more firms are trying to tackle the mobile space, they do not and cannot waste time nor resources trying to come up with their own solution to a problem someone has already solved. There is competition already in Mobile Sorcery’s space of course, but the market still widely emerging along with the adaptation of smartphone usage.
There is some movement towards (or visions of, at least) mobile web applications instead of downloadable apps. However, considering the amount of current installed base and limitations of the current mobile browsers in those handsets, there is strong need for traditional downloadable mobile apps. Thus the fragmentation nightmare with all different platforms and devices is still going to be around for quite many years to come.