Mobile 365 — acquired by Sybase (2006)
Mobile365 enabled the first mobile data service (text messaging) in the US. We noticed in 2000 that text messaging was growing fast as a service in Europe and Asia, but had been lagging in the US. At the time, a US mobile phone could message another phone in the same carrier, but messages would not travel across carriers. Different carrier standards and lack of connectivity created these artificial barriers. Terry Hsiao (ex-Nextel) and co-founders Bill Backrach and Bill Peters started the company to solve this problem. We were the lead early investor in the company. Our thesis was that a reliable third party intermediary would catalyze action among carriers to connect and enable a large growing market. A per transaction messaging fee would allow the company to share in the growing market. Mobile365 is a great example of how we work with companies: we advised on strategy, helped recruit management, helped secure follow-on funding from other investors, recruited additional board members, and helped negotiate the sale of the company. The company was acquired by Sybase in 2006 for $425MM. It has become the global leader in carrier interconnectivity partner and enablement of new data services.