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CellFish raises $10M, Oasys thinks sale

The turbulent world of mobile content was highlighted once again last week as one well-known firm filled its coffers and another continued to fight for its life.
CellFish Media raked in another $10 million in venture funding, topping off a first round that saw the company pocket an impressive total of $60 million. The firm, which is partially owned by French media conglomerate Lagardere SCA, said it will use the cash to fuel a “major product launch” slated for this summer as well as explore new distribution models.
Solidarity Fund QFL, a Montreal-based development capital fund, was the lone investor in the most recent round.
CellFish offers ringtones and other goodies both directly to consumers and on the decks of more than 20 carriers, including every tier-one operator in the United States. The company claims to generate more than $100 million in annual revenues in the United States, Germany and France.

Oasys hires RBC Daniels
Meanwhile, Oasys Mobile Inc. said it has hired an investment banking firm to explore financial and business options-including a possible sale-despite reporting a sharp increase in revenues during the fourth quarter. The publicly held, Raleigh, N.C.-based firm said it generated $2.64 million during the fourth quarter of 2006, up 35 percent from the year-ago period.
Annual revenues improved 11.5 percent to $8.7 million.
But the firm suffered $2.95 million in quarterly losses, up from $2.49 million in 2005, and reported $14.6 million in losses on the year. And Oasys has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating it doesn’t expect to be able to repay $8 million in debt scheduled to come due June 30.
Oasys recently restructured, paring its workforce from 75 full-time employees and contractors to 48 staffers, and has scrapped the direct-to-consumer business that had become the centerpiece of its operations last year.
Instead, the company is focusing on mobile games and hopes to serve as a content aggregator for carriers. Oasys also is marketing its direct-to-consumer technology to network operators as a white-label offering.
The content provider said it has hired RBC Daniels & Associates to weigh its options. “We are actively looking into a lot of strategic options with (RBC)” including raising cash, merging with a well-heeled suitor or selling out,” CEO Doug Dyer said.


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