The Finnish wireless software company announced an investment of EUR 20 million by international venture capitalists.
FINLAND, 30 June 2000 - Akumiitti, one of the providers of wireless entertainment applications enabling mobile operators and internet service providers (ISP) to extend value-added services (VAS) currently in the forms of ringing tones, icons and logos to end-customers, today announced it will further accelerate its international expansion.
To finance this expansion the company issued new shares valuing EUR 20 million acquired by four international investors. The capital was provided by TecCapital (UK), PART'COM (France) through Mediatel Capital, EDB ventures (Singapore) and Arctic Ventures (Scandinavia).
With this venture capital, Akumiitti will continue its international expansion phase. Akumiitti will expand its operations in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas.
The challenge for all mobile operators is to develop wireless services that bring in revenue immediately and differentiate from the competition.
Akumiitti's expansion is based on rapidly growing market for wireless data services. According to the research company Gartner Group, the market will explode from the current level, roughly USD 3 billion, to over USD 50 billion by the year 2004. The Gartner group estimates that the market value of entertainment services, such as ringing tones, icons, logos and games, will total about USD 6 billion in 2004. It is generally believed that the share of entertainment will become the most significant form of VAS.
"Currently in Europe, our value-chain stretches from the end-customers to the entertainment industry. Mobile operators are making revenues through ringing tones and pictures as end-customers are willing to pay between 50 cents and 1 euro for each download. At the same time, the entertainment industry receives copyrights payment from ringing tones downloaded," emphasizes Wenell.
Akumiitti's products are the Entertainment Service Center (ESC), Akumiitti Telematics Platform (ATP) and the Akumiitti Connectivity Library (ACL). Utilizing them, operators and content providers are able to supply VAS to end-customers. Operators are hence able to improve the utilization of their network capacity, resulting in growing customer loyalty and income flow. Akumiitti's main product ESC 2 is a wireless entertainment application designed to support large-scale sales and deployment of entertainment content in today's GSM, TDMA and CDMA networks.
Akumiiti is developing advanced telematics applications, more specifically, wireless information accumulation and management systems, which assist in enhancing customer business efficiency. The solutions are based on ATP. The platform is compatible with different types of vehicle computers and supplies an interface for third parties, for example logistics application providers.
Akumiitti's advisors in the international financing round were PCA Corporate Finance and its collaboration partner WestLB Panmure.
Akumiitti, founded in 1993, is a wireless softwaqre company, privately owned by its employees and international venture capital companies. Akumiitti's main products, Entertainment Service Center (ESC) and Akumiitti Connectivity Library (ACL), enable mobile operators, service and content providers to create value-added services. The Akumiitti Telematic Platform (ATP) is a telematics platform for wireless data applications designed to bring mobile connectivity to automobiles, appliances, mobile devices and other products. DaimlerChrysler, Nokia, Sonera (Finland), Blu (Italy), Winbox (Belgium) and 123 Internett (Norway), are Akumiitti's largest clients.
TecCapital Limited, a company controlled by David and Fredrick Barclay, was formed as the vehicle to make investments in new wireless technology business. Since its inception at the beginning of this year, Tec Capital has invested in a number of companies.
PART'COM is an investor specializing in the sectors of Telecommunications, Media and Internet, managing or advising directly or through various funds (In-Com, COM 2 I and MediaTel), with more than EUR 500 million.
About EDB Ventures
EDB Ventures Pte Ltd is a wholly subsidiary of EDB Investments Pte Ltd ("EDBI") which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary and the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board ("EDB"). It was set up in 1990 and is responsible for making strategic equity investments in new business-model/technology-intensive projects delivering world calss hardware/ software/ related services, especially those relevant to further development of Singapore's globally oriented economy.
About Artic Ventures
Arctic Ventures is a Nordic-based VC Fund, investing in early stage Nordic Internet and Wireless companies. The largest investments include Letsbuyit.com, Speed Ventures, Tradedoubler and Projectplace.