Am I the only one who is slightly gob-smacked at the amount of money that mobile television company MobiTV has collected in its recent round of financing? (Looks like Down The Avenue shares my amazement). Just months after getting a whopping $70-million — which already seemed a little excessive — the company has been handed another $30-million. Is MobiTV really that great, or is there just so much money sloshing around in the Valley that people can’t get rid of it fast enough?

mobile tv

I expect it’s probably a little bit of both. As more than one person has noted, Web 2.0 companies (or whatever you want to call them) in many cases require a whole lot less financing than traditional technology companies, and that combined with a conspicuous lack of IPOs has left VCs with truckloads of cash backing up and effectively going to waste. And there’s no question that MobiTV is cool — or rather, still cool, since it’s been around since 1999 — although I question how big the market for watching TV on a cellphone really is.

In any case, $100-million is a gigantic pile of money. I just hope that MobiTV can find something worthwhile to do with it. Greg Sterling wonders if MobiTV is becoming the next Webvan. Let’s put it this way: If they start having rooftop parties with free drinks and performances by hot bands, look out. Rafat Ali at PaidContent is also bearish.

About the author

Mathew 2414 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

20 Responses to “What does MobiTV need $100-million for?”
  1. That’s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. But there may be more to it than that. The entire TV world is being turned upside down. And I’m wondering if MobiTV has a major announcement to make in the near future.

  2. s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. But there may be more to it than that. The entire TV world is being turned upside down. And I’m wondering if MobiTV has a major announcement to make in the near future.

  3. s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. But there may be more to it than that. The entire TV world is being turned upside down. And I’m wondering if MobiTV has a major announcement to make in the near future.

  4. What does MobiTV need $100-million for? via Mathew Ingram: mathewingram.com/work November 2nd, 2006 at 21:23

  5. s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. But there may be more to it than that. The entire TV world is being turned upside down. And I’m wondering if MobiTV has a major announcement to make in the near future.

  6. s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. But there may be more to it than that. The entire TV world is being turned upside down. And I’m wondering if MobiTV has a major announcement to make in the near future.

  7. Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Thinking About MobiTV’s $100 million 加州Emeryville的MobiTV最近得到1亿美元的投资。这么多的钱用来做什么?我也应该投个简历。 What does MobiTV need $100-million for? » Mathew Ingram: mathewingram.com/work Matthew置疑VC因为投资Web2.0花了太少钱,现在有太多钱可以浪费到MoviTV上。Greg置疑MobiTV会不会成为下一个WebVan。不管怎样,我这简历是投定了。 玩转flickr del.icio.us Digg之完全攻略

  8. […] In light of my own opinions about blogging, journalism and what the difference is, I think bloggerizing journalists is probably a good thing. Hell — some of them have been at it for a while on their own and doing a damn good job of it. […]

  9. “how big the market for watching TV on a cellphone really is.”

    markets could be big.. remember Skype is also luanching venice !! TV on the go is the next wave of emerging markets.. the CN / JP and KR zones are heaviy into thumbpushers ..our lens at times is onle focused on what we think we see, rather then what exists .. and maybe thats rational explaination on why you doubt mobitv having such high cap infusion .. I dunna maybe I could be wrong too :)-

  10. Your point about foreign markets is a good one, Pete — I know that mobiles are a much bigger thing in developing countries like India, where they often take the place of computers, and I could see TV penetrating much more there.

  11. […] There was a bit of buzz a couple of days ago about MobiTV raising another $30 million in capital, adding to it’s already whopping $70 million from previous financings. That’s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. […]

  12. […] There was a bit of buzz a couple of days ago about MobiTV raising another $30 million in capital, adding to it’s already whopping $70 million from previous financings. That’s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. […]

  13. […] 数日前にMobiTV が前回の$70M (7000万ドル)という巨額の資金調達に加えて今回また$30M(3000万ドル)を調達したことに関してちょっとした議論が起きている。 携帯電話にテレビ番組を流すというだけのスタートアップにしてはたいへんな金額ではある。これは本質的に[ビジネスモデルとしては]ケーブルテレビに過ぎ ない。ただしこの場合、相手は2インチのテレビしかもっていないわけだが。Mathew Ingram のようなジャーナリストはMobiTVがなぜこれほどの資金が必要なのか、はっきりと疑問の声を上げている。 […]

  14. […] There was a bit of buzz a couple of days ago about MobiTV raising another $30 million in capital, adding to it’s already whopping $70 million from previous financings. That’s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. […]

  15. […] Il y avait pas mal de polémique ces derniers jours à propos d’une levée de fonds de 30 millions de dollars par MobiTV, à ajouter aux 70 millions des financements précédents. C’est beaucoup d’argent pour une startup qui permet de regarder quelques émissions de télévision sur son téléphone mobile et des journalistes comme Mathew Ingram demandent ouvertement pourquoi MobiTV a besoin de cet argent. […]

  16. […] My del.icio.us Engaging an audience with no time for it? Good advice to ANY content creator: keep it short Best videobloggers list from the Vloggies (the Judges? choices) «Since I’m planning to do some video soon, I guess I need to watch some of these. What does MobiTV need $100-million for? » Mathew Ingram:Good observations by Mathew – one thing to remember about MobiTV is they are a cash-printing machine for the carriers… Iraqi tribunal sentences Saddam to hang – Yahoo! News Sounds about right. Can they hang him twice? DVRs Boost Ratings, Networks Want Piece Of Action – 11/03/2006 Funny, didn’t the networks think the D in DVR was for “devil” about three years ago?more… […]

  17. Would you like to know when mobile tv will be a mass market product? Who will make profit out of it? What technologies will be used?
    Please fill out the survey:
    http://digiumenterprise.com/answer/?sid=67523&chk=EM38SVNF

    The results will be published at the IST Event on 23 Nov 2006. We will also publish the results at the net. We even share the data with other researchers — so if you are interested just drop me a line!

  18. […] There was a bit of buzz a couple of days ago about MobiTV raising another $30 million in capital, adding to it’s already whopping $70 million from previous financings. That’s a lot of money for a startup that lets some people watch a few TV shows on their cell phones. It’s effectively a cable television service that only does business with people who have 2 inch TVs, and journalists like Mathew Ingram are openly questioning why MobiTV needs this money. […]

  19. […] Il y avait pas mal de polémique ces derniers jours à propos d’une levée de fonds de 30 millions de dollars par MobiTV, à ajouter aux 70 millions des financements précédents. C’est beaucoup d’argent pour une startup qui permet de regarder quelques émissions de télévision sur son téléphone mobile et des journalistes comme Mathew Ingram demandent ouvertement pourquoi MobiTV a besoin de cet argent. […]

  20. see http://www.movy.tv and these are our apps –

    http://www.logovisionwireless.com/LogovisionMovidityBrochure.doc

    Yes – just give the $30 million to us – we can do everything that they can do and more.

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