I briefly interrupt my slumber to highlight an announcement from yesterday.
Over the years our attention has shifted away from the carriers/operators. We only remember them to complain about them or to comment on AT & T’s iPhone exclusivity. Shiny devices from iPhone to Nexus One to RIM’s devices have made our eyes sparkle. In some respects you may have even discounted or written off the carriers. But they are doing things behind the scenes… things that will impact the way you and I interact with our devices and with people across networks. Exciting stuff so they can finally shed the dumb pipe moniker.
If you’re a developer opportunities are already out there to be leveraged in this space. Be ahead of the curve and not behind it.
This is yesterday’s announcement as retold by TechCrunch Europe:
Aepona, the Belfast-based developer of a software engine that powers the “Network as a Service” (NaaS) business model for mobile operators, has just raised a $10M round, led by new investor BlackBerry Partners Fund, a Toronto-based global fund focused on applications, services and supporting infrastructure for mobile platforms.
The company provides the software engine that powers the “Network as a Service” (NaaS) business model for mobile operators allowing them to monetise assets and functionality within their networks – such as billing, location, messaging and voice communications – to open up new revenue opportunities.
Aepona, whose revenues grew 50% year-on-year from 2008 to 2009 with positive EBITDA, will use the new round to accelerate growth, and invest in additional sales and business development.
Below are portion of the Press Release from Aepona’s website:
Aepona is a market leader in the NaaS marketplace through its deployments with more than 20 Tier One mobile operators around the world, together with its pioneering work on the GSM Association’s OneAPI initiative and the launch of the Canadian OneAPI commercial service, which is at the forefront of the Mobile Cloud Computing market.
Commenting on its decision to invest in Aepona, Marc Faucher, Partner at BlackBerry Partners Fund said, “Aepona’s proposition is constructively aligned with the strategic goals of mobile operators, and the company is ideally positioned to capitalize on the major trends that are shaping the future of the mobile industry.”
Among these key trends are:
· Mobile operators looking for ways to re-assert themselves in the applications value chain to address increasing competition from web-based service providers.
· The proliferation of high-end smartphones enabling a new generation of applications and services that combine advanced device functionality with core mobile network functionality, creating significant additional value for the end-user compared with the device-only applications that are prevalent today.
· The arrival of Cloud Computing into the mobile domain meaning that application providers can now quickly and easily access mobile network capabilities across multiple operators. This reduces market fragmentation and is vital for driving mass adoption of applications on a global scale.
“Aepona’s solution directly addresses these trends, and it’s for this reason that BlackBerry Partners Funds believes the company is poised for significant growth. We look forward to working with Aepona, and providing insight and support that will help the company realise its full potential in the mobile eco-system,” continues Faucher.
“We are delighted to welcome BlackBerry Partners Fund on board as a new investor in Aepona,” said Al Snyder, CEO of Aepona. “The Fund shares our vision for the future of the mobile industry – one in which mobile operators can adopt a two-sided business model, delivering differentiated, network-enabled applications through their retail channels as well as directly monetizing their network and billing assets to open up new wholesale revenue opportunities from the Mobile Cloud. We especially look forward to leveraging the relationships that BlackBerry Partners Fund shares with the handset and application developer communities, to develop new propositions that combine the unique capabilities of the mobile device with the power of the mobile network.”
All this to say what?
Keep an eye on it… others are. If I get a chance I will try and write more about this (and if you are interested).