Ontela Inc., a San Diego-based maker of camera phone picture-saving technology, has raised around $10 million in Series B funding. Steamboat Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Hunt Ventures, Oak Investment Partners and Voyager Capital. It had raised a $4.5 million Series A round in late 2006.
Ontela, Inc., provider of award-winning camera phone picture saving technology, announced today that it has secured funding from Steamboat Ventures with additional participation from existing investors Hunt Ventures, Oak Investment Partners and Voyager Capital. This funding will position the company to grow its product line and expand internationally.
Ontela provides a simple solution to a common problem: getting pictures off camera phones. A recent study reported in Wireless Week found that while 93% of people want a solution that will save their camera phone pictures to their computer, only 24% know how to do it. Ontela solves this with an easy-to-use service that automatically saves each picture on a camera phone to the user‘s PC, e-mail, and/or favorite Web sites.
“In the six months since it launched, our PicDeck� technology has gone into deployment on four wireless carriers,“ said Dan Shapiro, CEO of Ontela. “Consumers love it, as demonstrated by great feedback, tremendous sales, and a total lack of support calls. Adding Steamboat in our Series B enables us to continue innovating while bringing our product to broader markets.“
“We are proud to announce our support of and investment in Ontela,“ said Beau Laskey, managing director of Steamboat Ventures. “After carefully reviewing a host of companies and technologies in the mobile imaging arena, we found that Ontela offers a true game-changing application for mobile data plans � the simplest solution to one of wireless subscribers‘ most widespread problems.“
Ontela‘s successful funding round follows a strong start to the year. At the CTIA conference in April, Ontela announced that initial sales of Cellular South‘s pic sender application stood at 217% of what was originally projected. Shortly thereafter, Ontela won the CTIA award for best mobile application, mobile entertainment and social networking. Ontela has also announced carrier launches with Alltel, Cellular South, Cincinnati Bell, and nTelos.
Ontela previously raised $4.5 million in November of 2006 from Hunt Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, and Voyager Capital.
Ontela provides technology infrastructure to wireless carriers that allows consumers to unlock the photos in their camera phones. Currently available on carrier networks including Cellular South, Alltel, Cincinnati Bell, and nTelos, PicDeck� technology allows consumers to automatically save their photos to their PC, email address, and/or favorite imaging web sites. Ontela is backed by Steamboat Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, Hunt Ventures, and Voyager Capital and headquartered in Seattle, WA. For more information, visit www.ontela.com.
About Steamboat Ventures
With offices in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Steamboat Ventures is a global venture capital fund that invests in digital media, consumer and technology companies in the U.S. and Asia. Steamboat Ventures pursues a distinctive investment strategy, cultivating investment opportunities that are simultaneously financially promising and also possess the potential to have significant strategic interest to The Walt Disney Company. Founded in 2000, Steamboat Ventures has invested in a range of leading digital media and consumer technology companies, including: Fastclick (acquired by VCLK), Iridigm Display Corporation (acquired by QCOM), Pure Digital Technologies, Quigo Technologies (acquired by TWX), Move Networks, Netmovie, and UUSee. For more information, please visit http://www.steamboatvc.com.