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05/08/2007

Frengo Secures $5.7 Million in Series A Financing

 

Frengo, a new mobile social play network for people on the go, announced recently it has closed $5.7 million in Series A financing. The Trilogy Partnership, founded by several pioneers in the mobile communications industry, led the round. This Series A financing follows a $2.3 million seed round closed in August 2006 which was led by Khosla Ventures and Index Ventures. Both firms participated in this round.

Turning an ordinary cell phone into a fun and effective mobile social networking platform, Frengo is the first mobile messaging service designed specifically for friends and communities, allowing them to easily interact in a one-to-many fashion.

Trilogy’s Cregg Baumbaugh, a former executive with T-Mobile, VoiceStream and Western Wireless, will join the Frengo Board. “Millions of wireless users are sending billions of messages for peer-to-peer communication and the opportunity to engage them in group messaging is immense,” noted Baumbaugh. “We were first attracted to invest in Frengo because of the management team’s depth of experience and vision for bridging the divide between web and phone experiences.”

“We regard the team at Frengo as among the best in the mobile industry,” said David Weiden, general partner at Khosla Ventures. “Clearly mobile entertainment is poised to both change and grow fundamentally, and this is a great team to drive the industry forward.”

With a long history of leadership at VeriSign, Intermix/MySpace, Jamster and Apple, Frengo’s founders saw the nexus between social networking and text-based communications -- two increasingly popular yet disparate communications platforms. “Our focus is on enabling a large portfolio of content appealing to a broad audience and building on users’ desire to stay connected to each other and have fun on their phone,” said Mahi de Silva, CEO of Frengo.

Leveraging their experience in mobile services and entertainment, the Frengo team has devised new ways of applying mobility to web-based social interactions in combination with the simplicity and mass adoption of SMS. Thus, the concept of “friends on the go” became Frengo. Frengo has also opened its game-building and messaging toolkits to its members to create user-generated games and content for additional fun and compelling ways for one person to interact simultaneously with a close group of friends or thousands of people.

Today, Frengo offers its members simple messaging tools along with games played via SMS or MMS (text messaging and picture messaging) services. Revolving around competitive or fun pursuits such as sports, entertainment and causal games, Frengo’s games are just one example of how its social play/networking platform lets users easily connect and interact with groups of friends. In partnership with Boost Mobile, Frengo launched a text alert-based game in which players predicted winners during the NCAA college basketball tournament. Boost Mobile promoted the game on its WAP deck generating over 25,000 players in just two weeks. Usage patterns for Frengo’s early members show that users come back frequently to play one or more games.

Frengo works on every major US mobile network including AT&T (Cingular), Verizon, Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile, Alltel, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Cellular One.

Frengo aspires to build the world’s biggest interactive mobile playground by creating a new platform for bite-sized mobile publishing and social play. Frengo provides a wide variety of text and MMS games, services and features that allow members to interact, plan and compete with friends through their mobile phones.

For more information, please visit www.frengo.com