Mozilla, Telefonica lead investment in HTML5 platform


Mozilla is entering the venture capital segment, making its first-ever investment by contributing an unspecified amount to HTML5-based mobile app platform's $25 million Series C round.

Telefónica, which will begin selling smartphones powered by Mozilla's fledgling Firefox mobile operating system in early 2013, led the investment. SingTel Innov8 and previous investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, BRM Group and Horizons Ventures also participated in the round.'s technology eschews conventional download-based applications in favor of dynamically matching the content and services a smartphone user needs with the most relevant HTML5 apps available, either locally or from the cloud. Apps appear on the mobile device screen according to user intent and are instantly available for use whether the user has downloaded them or not. is available via HTML5 or as an iPhone app--an Android version is in the pipeline, and the firm will leverage the new funding to accelerate the platform's continued development.

Mozilla said will play "an important role" in the Firefox OS user experience, adding "The company is aligned closely with Mozilla's mission and goals."

Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) promises a new phone architecture that relies entirely on the Web to enable HTML5 applications with complete access to core device APIs. Firefox devices will be priced in the same range as feature phones; Mozilla is collaborating with ZTE to build the first wave of Firefox smartphones.

In addition to Telefónica, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Telecom Italia and Telenor also have announced their support for the Mozilla platform. "Firefox Mobile OS can help us drive an HTML5-based platform for creating lower-cost smartphone options for prepaid, postpaid and wholesale customers," Sprint Product Chief and Executive Vice President Fared Adib said in July.

For more:
- read this release

Related articles:
Forecast: Firefox OS will power just 1 percent of smartphones shipped in 2013
ZTE to launch Firefox OS smartphones in shift away from Android
Sprint vows support for Mozilla's Firefox mobile OS
Mozilla, Telefónica target Brazil for Boot to Gecko smartphone launch
Mozilla partners with Telefónica for first Boot to Gecko smartphones
Mozilla building open-source mobile OS to rival Google's Android