VCs Boost Enterprise Investments In 2007

By Brenda Lewis — June 05, 2008

Enterprise mobile applications in 2007 were a bright spot in an otherwise flat year for wireless equity investments. Venture capital (VC) investment in enterprise wireless applications accelerated in 2007, totaling $618.7 million worldwide, according to Rutberg & Co. data cited in Wireless Industry News. While this is still below the estimated $750 million peak in 2000, it represents a 55% jump over 2006 (See Fig. 1).

Continuing the trend of the past five years, Dow Jones Venture One data for 2007 show 63% of venture investment rounds went to late-stage companies already shipping product. Only 3% went to start-ups.

While 2007 set a record year for wireless acquisitions, at $2.3 billion, Venture One data show that VCs must wait an average 6.7 years for wireless venture exits via merger or acquisition, up markedly from a low of 1.7 years in 2001.

At the Dow Jones Wireless Innovations conference in Redwood City, Calif., April 22-23, approximately one third of the 67 presenting firms were enterprise applications or infrastructure ventures. Enterprise applications accounted for 40% of the top10 ventures voted "best in show" at the event. 

The enterprise winners were:

  • Aerohive Networks, a developer of distributed, co-operative control wireless LAN technology;
  • Knowtate, an opt-in, location based service  to "hyperlink" business messages (including translations) from signs, shelving, kiosks or billboards to cell phones;
  • Mojix, a developer of patented digital signal processing for RFID with 1,000 foot range and no line-of-sight requirement; and
  • Trafficast International, which develops predictive modeling software for analysis and management of traffic.
Other enterprise presenters included Proximetry, provider of real-time performance management for multi-vendor, multi-protocol, multi-frequency networks; Awarepoint, provider of patented RFID plug-in Zigbee monitors currently deployed in hospitals; and Yap, provider of a clientless platform with fully automated voice recognition and real time machine translation to text.

A key topic for attendees and speakers throughout the event was the next-generation iPhone's feature set and whether it would make inroads into the enterprise space dominated by Research in Motion's Blackberry. Among other session highlights:
  • Several speakers, including J.H. Kah, SVP Business Development for SK Telecom International, said they don't believe U.S. cellular networks will truly support open access.
  • John Chen, President / CEO of Sybase, Inc., used his keynote to affirm his firm's strategic commitment to the mobile middleware market, which is growing at 10% a year. He declared "we want to become the plumbing of mobility extension."
  • In a session on location-based services (LBS), speaker Jim Goetz, Partner, Sequoia Capital commented that the appointment of John Donovan as CTO of AT&T might prompt the carrier to show more interest in LBS.
  • When it comes to mobile payments, Dion Lisle, SVP of Citigroup's mobile venture unit, said "customers want solutions to problems; they don't ask for specific phones. In the U.S., proliferation of devices is a problem; it's hard to be a start-up serving a continental footprint."
The number and quality of enterprise ventures at this year's event is cause for celebration and holds promise for future productivity gains for enterprise wireless users.


POST A COMMENT

comments powered by Disqus

RATE THIS CONTENT (5 Being the Best)

12345
Current rating: 0 (0 ratings)

MOST READ STORIES

topics

Must See


FEATURED REPORT

Mobility Outlook 2015: People & Process Coming Together

The progression of mobility in the enterprise so far is akin to a child entering its early awkward teenage years, according to 451 Analyst Chris Marsh. How will this change in 2015? What trends need to go and what's coming? This exclusive report explores looks ahead and Marsh provides practical recommendations.