Motricity Closes On Another $185M
Mobile platform distributor Motricity Inc. has raised a $185 million funding round and used $135 million of its cash to acquire the mobile services unit of publicly traded InfoSpace Inc.—a move that will broaden Motricity's customer base to include 11 of the top 13 wireless carriers in America, the company said.
The acquisition, announced in October, was finalized last week.
The funding round, which was expected after media reports in October surfaced about the likely fund-raising, was led by previous investors Advanced Equities Inc., New Enterprise Associates and activist investor Carl Icahn, with participation from previous investors, the company said.
That makes Motricity one of the most well-financed venture-backed companies around, with more than $400 million in total venture capital funding, according to VentureSource. Besides Advanced Equities, NEA and Icahn, investors over the years have included Intel Capital, Massey-Burch Capital, Noro-Moseley Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Sienna Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, Tri-State Investment Group, and Wakefield Group.
Ryan Wuerch, chief executive of Motricity, will remain in his post, the company said. Steve Elfman, former executive vice president of InfoSpace's mobile services division, has been named president and chief operating officer of Motricity.
A spokesperson for Durham, N.C.-based Motricity, Les Hamashima, said Monday it was still unknown how many employees of InfoSpace—based in Bellevue, Wash. - would be kept on.
The company told VentureWire in 2006 it was planning a rapid expansion in a year in which it raised roughly $100 million and acquired mobile marketing company GoldPocket Wireless Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Those plans were followed by job cuts later in the year, after Motricity said it eliminated 50 jobs among its 425 employees to cut costs.
Motricity, with more than $1 billion in gross content sales since its founding in 2002, powers start-up screens for mobile devices, and has partnerships with several big-name wireless carriers and cable television channels.
Publicly-traded InfoSpace is a developer of metasearch products to help people navigate the Internet.
The acquisition gives Motricity an expanded base of customers, including AT&T Corp., Verizon Wireless Inc., Sprint, T-Mobile, Bell Mobility Inc., Tracfone Wireless Inc. and Alltel Corp.
Executives at the company could not be reached Monday, nor could several of its investors.