25 Hottest Mobile Companies

To identify the most promising mobile companies Informilo Editor-in-chief Jennifer L. Schenker asked some of the most active investors in Europe, Israel and the U.S. to nominate and evaluate companies outside their own portfolios. Some are well known, others are below the radar but unlikely to stay that way for very long. Read on to find out more about our picks for the top 25:

Foursquare/Fring/Fon/Instagram/Layar/Metaio/Rovio Mobile/Shazam/Siine/Spotify/Waze/Three Laws of Mobility/NetQin/Enterproid/Lookout/Square/Zong/Tapjoy/Neomobile/Amobee Media Systems/Aepona/Ubiquisys/Ip.access/Neul

 

CONSUMER FOCUSED

 

Foursquare (www.foursquare.com)

New York City

What it does: Popular online and mobile service that lets people "check in" and report their location to find friends or get tips about the place they're visiting.

Why it’s hot: The company uses game mechanics to reward users and grants "mayorships" for being a venue's most frequent visitor. Tens of thousands of merchants around the world are experimenting with special offers to Foursquare users. The company has 6.5 million users, with some 40 percent of its traffic coming from outside the U.S.

 

Fring

London, England and Israel

What it does:Fring’s service, which is available on all major Smartphones, on any mobile operator and any mobile internet connection (3G/4G, Wi-Fi, GPRS, EDGE), allows users to make free video calls, voice calls and do live chat.

Why it’s hot:Fring attracts more than one million new smartphone users a monthand connected more than 100 million mobile video call minutes last year.

 

Fon (www.fon.com)

Madrid, Spain

What it does: global wi-fi sharing service.

Why it’s hot: Consumer uptake is increasing and operators, such as Softbank Japan, are now turning to Fon to help offset the strain that bandwidth-hogging data traffic places on their networks.

 

Getjar (www.getjar.com)

Founded in Lithuania, now based in San Mateo, California

What it Does: Delivers more than 70,000 mobile applications to phones across all major software platforms.

Why it’s hot: The company has generated more than one billion application downloads.

 

Instagram (http://instagr.am)

San Francisco, California

What it does:Photo sharing on the iPhone.

Why it’s hot:The service allows members to take  pictures with their phones and add visual effects, then post their snaps to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

 

Layar (www.layar.com)

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

What it does: Mobile augmented reality.

Why it’s hot: The company’s browser already has been installed more than 2.5 million times, and it’s poised to be pre-loaded on tens of millions of phones from handset makers and carriers.

 

Metaio (www.metaio.com)

Munich, Germany

What it does: Augmented Reality software development and content creation platforms.

Why it’s hot: With the Junaio platform, Metaio have taken their sophisticated platforms to the mobile phone, enabling instant info and interaction with objects such as magazines, posters and even postage stamps and TVs.

 

Rovio Mobile (www.rovio .com)

Espoo, Finland

What it does: Independent developer of wireless games.

Why it’s hot: Rovio has developed titles for some of the biggest names in the mobile space including Electronic Arts, Nokia and Vivendi, and is now extending the brand of its popular Angry Birds mobile game to a board game, a TV show and a motion picture.

 

Shazam (www.shazam.com)

London, England

What it does: Music discovery engine.

Why it’s hot: More than 75 million people are using Shazam

to discover new songs by artists and consult concert information

 

Siine (www.siine.com)

Birmingham, England

What it does:Software that upgrades the keyboard you currently useto make it easier to browse social media talk to friends, and get work done.

Why it’s hot:Using semantic intelligence, Siine takes into account how a mobile phone user speaks, then suggest what the person will most likely say, potentially saving consumers lots of time doing everyday activities that require typing.

 

Spotify (www.spotify.com)

London, England

What it does:Digital services used to discover and share music via social tools.

Why it’s hot:Millions of users in Europe use its ad-supported or subscriber service.

 

Waze (www.waze.com)

Palo Alto, California and Israel

What it does: Offers maps and traffic information based on real-time traffic information and the wisdom of the crowd.

Why it’s hot: More than 2 million drivers are already using

Waze, which raised a $25 million series B round of venture capital in December.

 

Mobile Enterprise and Security

 

3lm Three Laws of Mobility (www.3lm.com) 

San Francisco, California

What it does: A platform for Android mobile devices that allows business customers to manage system utilities, security, and an enterprise app store.

Why it’s hot: The two co-founders, Tom Moss and Gaurav Mathur, former members of the Google Android team, are zeroing in on an unmet need.

 

NetQin (www.netqin.com)

Beijing, China

What it does: Delivers mobile security tools through an Internet-based service, including anti-virus, anti-spam, privacy protection, data backup and restoration, and online virus scan, to 55 million users in more than 200 countries.

Why it’s hot: NetQin already controls over 60 percent of the mobile security market in China, but 30 percent of its user base is international.

 

Enterproid (www.enterproid.com)

San Francisco, California

What it does: The company’s core product enables executives to securely consolidate their work and personal lives onto a single device.

Why it’s hot: Enterproid is helping business open up a broader set of mobile devices to their employees without sacrificing enterprise-grade security and control.

 

Lookout (www.lookout.com)

San Francisco, California

What it does: Keeps critical business data on your mobile phone safe.

Why it’s hot: In a world where the mobile smartphone is increasingly becoming the business platform of choice, Lookout protects phones from malware and viruses, backs up and restores data and helps users find their phones in the event they are lost or stolen.

 

Payments

 

Square(www.square.com)

San Francisco, California

What it does: Free credit card reader that plugs into a phone or iPad.

Why it’s hot:The company, co-founded by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, enables anyone with a smartphone to accept a credit card payment.

 

Zong (www.zong.com)

Menlo Park, California

What it does:One-click payment system, which enables users to buy virtual goods and currency and bill their mobile phone.

Why it’s hot:Facebook chose Zong as the mobile payment option for its Facebook credits.

 

Tapjoy (www.tapjoy.com)

San Francisco, California

What it does: Monetization and distribution services for social and mobile gaming applications, virtual worlds, social platforms and other publishers selling virtual goods or premium digital assets.

Why it's hot:Over 8000 publishers now work with the mobile side of Tapjoy, including 25 percent of all the iPhone published games listed in the top 25 in any game category. Tapjoy was the first service to handle paid installs on the iPhone, and is still the largest.

 

 

Carrier Platforms

 

Neomobile (www.neomobile.com)

Rome, Italy

What it does: develops digital content and interactive services for mobile users in partnership with mobile network operators and media companies. Why it’s hot: The five-year-old company did over €60 million in revenue last year.

Amobee Media Systems (www.amobee.com)
Redwood City, California
What it does: Mobile advertising platform.
Why it’s hot: The company allows advertisers to regularly reach approximately 1 out of every 7 people globally, across all devices, using any format from text SMS to animated Rich Media. In early February it added a new proximity market model that allows advertisers to launch campaigns by combining traditional outdoor media with mobile technology.


Aepona (www.aepona.com)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
What it does: Helps mobile operators leverage the intelligence in their networks.
Why it’s hot: Aepona provides the software engine that powers the convergence of open mobile networks, mobile cloud computing, on-demand enterprise solutions, and web and mobile applications, creating new revenue streams for mobile operators.
  
Wireless Technology
 
Ubiquisys (www.ubiquisys.com)
Swindon, England
What it does:  Makes femtocell technology that it sells to operators across the world, including mass‑market deployments with SoftBank Mobile in Japan and SFR in France.
Why it’s hot:  It is introducing the world's first personal femtocell device. Designed primarily for use by individuals travelling abroad, the company's new attocell will enable calls from any 3G phone to be placed and received within buildings overseas as though users were still in their home countries.
 
Ip.access (www.ipaccess.com)
Cambridge, England
What it does: Maker of picocell and femtocell infrastructure solutions for GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3G.
Why it’s hot: Its technology brings IP and cellular technologies together to drive down costs and increase coverage and capacity of mobile networks.
 

Neul (www.neul.com)
Cambridge, England
What it does: Building the first global wireless network specifically designed for the more than 50 billion devices that are expected to be internet-connected by 2020.
Why it’s hot: The company, formed by veterans of fabless semiconductor company Cambridge Silicon Radio, is betting that the white space spectrum within existing TV bands will be ideal for machine-to-machine communications.

This story appeared in a print publication Informilo produced in partnership with Raconteur Media, which was distributed at The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 14-17 and in a regular issue of the Times in the UK. The print publication is the second in a series  on innovation and technology that Informilo and Raconteur Media have produced.

 

 

 

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