Last updated: March 20, 2019

Mobidia - History and Overview
The story in 2 parts ...

 

Nature of the business

There were 2 halves to Mobidia's business: a mobile network optimization solution called DMP (dynamic multimedia prototol), and later on, a mobile analytics platform that collected data in the cloud from millions of 'My Data Manager' apps running on millions of Android and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets around the world. DMP was positioned to be sold and deployed by network operators to help them improve network speeds and increase capacity, while the mobile analytics data feeds were sold as subscription services to financial services firms, network operators, app developers and content providers. In 2015 Mobidia's analytics business was sold to App Annie. DMP continues to be owned separately under a new corporate entity, MTI LP.

 

Starting off by Focusing on Mobile Network Optimization

Mobidia was founded in 2006 - with the first VCs (BC Discovery Fund, BC Advantage Fund, and BDC - the Business Development Bank of Canada) writing funding cheques in December of that year. The pitch was simple enough: harness the power of smartphones to improve network performance. I liked this story because it was derivative to my efforts at Intrinsyc to build software that underpinned smartphone platforms and I (thought I) understood that smartphone could become an important element in the opimization market.

I got involved as an investor and CEO in 2008 after the business had already established some initial mobile operator relationships. I felt that it just needed a push with additional investment capital and solid execution and it would push thru to a successful deployment on the world's largest networks. But we put over $20M into that push, resulting in 20 global trials, with quite decent test results, but in the end we couldn't wait any longer for actual contracts so we pivoted agressively into mobile app analytics in mid 2010 ... click here to read about our DMP network optimization platform

 

Pivoting into Mobile App Analytics

Part of the DMP platform was a smartphone client app that tracked which packet of data came from each app, and it also was aware of the network type (3G, 4G, LTE, private or public WiFi, etc.) as well as the handset model and O/S version, and at some point in time we realized that tracking this data across the world could be a very lucrative business all on its own, even without the added benefit of network optimization. The pivot took about 2 years to fully complete and by 2012 Mobidia had already started to emerge on the world stage as a successful app analytics provider --- click here to read about our Mobile App Analytics solution.

Along the way Mobidia generated a strong brand in the space and was covered extensively in the press and by industry research firms - when we sold to App Annie there were more than a dozen articles written about the transaction - click here to read the press articles and reports on Mobidia.

Click here to view web pages from Mobidia's 2015 web site.

 

Selling out to App Annie

I have mixed feelings about our decision to sell to App Annie in the spring of 2015. We were the leading app analytics vendor in the space but our board and management team felt we needed to raise substantially more money than we had done to date (C$34 million) and we were in discussions with various growth phase VCs in Canada and the US to raise an additional $25 million when the CEO of App Annie called and said that they had a board approved offer to acquire Mobidia. We were on our way to breaking thru the $10 million ARR (annual recurring revenue) threshold by the fall of 2015 but we had not yet secured our next stage funding and we concerned about emerging market competitors so we negotiated our way to an exit and the rest is history.

 

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