Six wireless companies secured notable venture funding during the most recent quarter, according to the the authors of the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data by Thomson Reuters. Mobile apps continue to attract vc dollars, but the biggest winners were a mobile commerce platform and a wireless radio technology company.
Pittsburgh’s Branding Brand, Inc. scored a $7.2 million investment from Insight Venture Partners to build its mobile commerce platform and Kumu Networks secured $5.4 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates to develop its full-duplex wireless design. Wireless full-duplex allows a radio to transmit and receive signals at the same time using a single frequency channel.
All the other wireless deals were worth less than a million dollars. Boston’s Xtone Networks got three quarters of a million from Longstreet Partners. The company makes software that lets mobile developers add a voice assistant to their apps. Mobile messaging startup Ivy Corporation raised $187,000 from the Women’s Venture Capital Fund; it was the company’s third round of funding. And two California mobile app developers raised early stage funding: OpTown raised $100,000 from Crosslink Capital and Atlas secured $75,000 from the Pasadena Angels.
Venture capitalists invested $6.5 billion in 890 companies during the third quarter, an 11% decrease from the second quarter in terms of dollars invested. The number of deals also declined, from 935 to 890. The sluggish economy is motivating venture capitalists to help companies they’ve invested in instead of doing new deals, says Tracy Lefteroff, global managing partner, Venture Capital & Private Equity Practice, PwC.
“I think we are in a downward cycle, but venture capital is a cyclical business and we’ve seen peaks and valleys before,” says Lefteroff. He says venture capitalists are finding it hard to raise funds for investment because mergers and acquisitions activity has been slow, and without acquisitions investors cannot realize returns.
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