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SingTel invests in mobile video services startup Vuclip

Telco leads US$13 million investment, along with existing investors NEA and Jafco Ventures, in Series D funding for the media and advertising platform.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Southeast largest telco SingTel has joined part of a group to invest US$13 million in mobile video services startup Vuclip.

The telco, a new investor in the company, led the Series D funding with existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Jafco Ventures.  

Vuclips's platform allows users a "consistent mobile video experience regardless of the model of device they own", according to a press release Thursday. It claims to also compress files by up to 80 percent, reducing the consumption of mobile data necessary.

"Vuclip has built an impressive user base, monetization strategy, and management team and is truly emerging as a leading mobile media company," said Jeff Karras, managing director of SingTel Innov8.

Another investor, Nick Sturiale, general partner at Jafco Ventures, pointed out most of the world’s first Internet experience was over a mobile phone.

“Vuclip is the fastest growing video service since YouTube, but has much better engagement," Sturiale added.

Vuclip helps people search, discover and share online videos, and play them on any Internet-enabled device. (source: vuclip.com)

According to the statement, the funds raised will be used to meet "tremendous global demand" particularly in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, as well as to further innovate Vuclip’s media and advertising platform.

"We believe that growth in mobile video is being driven by three major factors: the spread of low cost smart phones, rapid growth of mobile-only Internet users and demand for compelling content," said Nickhil Jakatdar, CEO of Vuclip.

Jakatdar added this was happening in emerging markets differently from developed markets.

Vuclip said it has 45 million monthly active users worldwide and is currently partnering telcos such as Vodafone and Bharti Airtel

The investment by SingTel is its latest push into the mobile services space, following its acquisition of Silicon Valley startup AdJitsu in May and Amobee in March this year--both mobile advertising plays.

As part of a mobile social games push, the telco announced Thursday it had partnered Japan's social gaming content and platform provider Gree for an exclusive direct carrier billing deal in Singapore. This followed its investment of US$1.5 million in TheMobileGamer in September.

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