|By||| Jan 11, 2011 | News|
We reported yesterday that 2359 Media, a Singapore-based mobile development company, closed a SGD800,000 (USD615,000) Series A round from SingTel’s Innov8 fund. Actually, the whole round was worth SGD1 million, with the remainder coming from NUS Enterprise, a unit of the National University of Singapore.
We talked to the 2359 Media guys about what they’re going to do with huge cash boost, and the future of their flasgship product, a mobile ad-maker called MobDis.
2359 media was registered in Feb 2009, to mainly monetize from its first app, SG Malls that helps users navigate through malls in Singapore. After building SG Malls, 2359 media founders Wenhan Zhou and Hong Ting Wong got a lot of requests to build mobile applications for clients. The company has a headcount of about 17 people now.
When we talked to Wong in December (word was spreading then that an investment was imminent), he mentioned that while building applications for clients, they felt that there was a untouched gap in the mobile publishing space. This led them to build a content management system to build applications which then evolved into their flagship product, MobDis. MobDis is a HTML5 editor that allows designers and marketeers to build interactive ad’s and brochures.
When asked about how 2359 media will use the money from their new investors, Wong said, “With MobDis, from what we see, all the clients are in the US and MobDis actually helps build iAd experiences, but across all platforms. So, majority of the funds is to speed up the development and capture the US market.”
“We want to help everyone – SME’s, big companies to plug into MobDis to instantly get a presence on mobile,” he added.
But with Apple recently releasing iAd Producer, a software tool to create iAd content – how will MobDis differentiate itself?
“iAd producer is very tempting but MobDis can do a lot more creative things. In terms of effects and animations, MobDis has more power. Specifically, iAd Producer is like a widget box – but then you can’t make the widget interact and move around,” Zhou said when we talked to him today.
He added, “All the ads are on HTML and CSS, and based on such open tech platforms, advertisers would want their ads across all platforms and not just iAd.”
“It’s good that Apple and Adobe are getting into this space. They are going after hardcore developers and we are going after marketeers and designers who need drag-and-drop solutions,” Wong said.
With SingTel Innov8 coming on board, Wong believes his company can leverage SingTel’s huge networks to do business development and enterprise sales. Specifically, he see how MobDis can take advantage of 4G networks.
“[SingTel] have a lot of hardware and software expertise into the latest mobile development. What MobDis does is very data-intensive, so we want to leverage on 4G experience, which will augment the experience,” he said.