Skyfire raises $10 million Series D

Steven Loeb · October 11, 2012 · Short URL:

Cloud solutions company has raised $41 million total in attempt to curb "mobile warming"

Skyfire, a service which offers mobile video optimization and cloud solutions for mobility, announced Thursday that it has raised $10 million Series D funding.

First time investor Panorama Capital led the round, with participation from previous investors Verizon Ventures, Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Skyfire says it will use these funds to meet the demands of its growing list of wireless operator customers,to increase its global sales and marketing resources, and to scale its team and hire staff.

“We will be focusing on making sure that our existing operator customers, as well as the ones that are coming, have full support from our company,” Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck said in an interview with VatorNews.

“We'll also quickly be bringing on Business Development staff to respond to the demand that we're seeing in parts of the world where we haven't previously been present. The number of people we bring on will definitely scale with the opportunities that are opening up.”

Skyfire will also be expanding into Eastern Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia, as well as increasing the sales and support for Western Europe.

Skyfire’s mission

A large part of Skyfire’s mission is to combat what Glueck calls “mobile warming,” or the strain that is put on mobile networks dealing with increased data usage due to the rise in video consumption.

Gluek expects that mobile data loads will grow 26 times in the next 3 years, and mobile video bandwidth 35 times, while 4G networks will expand mobile download speeds and capacity by four times.

Data overload is happening all over the world, according to Gluek, most notably in European countries, especially Germany, and in countries in East Asia.

If nothing is done to curb the problem, Gluek says, “Mobile users will experience constantly dropped calls, slow connections, long video buffer times and an inability to connect to mobile apps at peak times.”

“This is a problem that will only continue to get worse. Applications like video calling and movie streaming on smartphones mean that networks will feel more strain than ever.”

To battle this, Skyfire launched its Rocket Optimizer tool, which makes videos faster on mobile devices and optimized so they don't clog your bandwidth. The Rocket Optimizer is able to measure when bandwidth congestion occurs and adjusts the streaming so that you get consistent video coverage. Gluek says it will save carriers hundreds of millions of dollars in network build-out.

“The Skyfire Rocket Optimizer provides breakthrough bandwidth savings for wireless operators, with an average of 60 percent data savings for videos and 50 percent for images on mobile devices, which allows carriers to better utilize the cell tower space,” Gluek said. “By saving 30 percent of data on overloaded cell towers, Skyfire Rocket Optimizer can save a typical Tier One mobile operator some $150 millon in capital expenditures in the first year alone.”

Skyfire sells two products: Rocket Optimizer and it’s recently released toolbar browser extension platform for mobile, called Skyfire Horizon.

The toolbar allows users to receive alerts about the most relevant recommendations for related offers and coupon codes that automatically appear at checkout while they are shopping online. It offers one-click access to apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Wikipedia, IMDB and Amazon, .

Mountain View, California-based Skyfire has created multiple bestselling apps since being founded in 2007. Over 15 million users have downloaded and actived Skyfire products, which include mobile video optimization and in browsing solutions.

With this latest round of fundraising, Skyfire has now raised $41 million in four rounds of financing, including an $8 million Series C funding round in January from Verizon Investments LLC, with participation from existing investors Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

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