VC investment in mobile tops $360M in October, led by Braintree, Netbiscuits

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Private companies across the worldwide mobile sector raised more than $360 million in venture capital financing during October 2012, M&A advisory firm Rutberg & Company reports.

Ninety-one mobile startups landed venture funding last month, led by 38 firms in the consumer apps segment scoring roughly $106 million, according to Rutberg & Company data supplied to FierceMobileContent via email. Over-the-top messaging services firm textPlus topped the consumer apps sector at $18 million, followed by mobile-first transportation apps makers Silvercar and SideCar at $12 million and $10 million, respectively. (Some companies announced venture investments in October but did not disclose dollar amounts.)

Mobile payments, app infrastructure, over-the-top communications and personalized mobile data billing services were the hottest investment segments in October, Rutberg & Company notes. Digital payments gateway firm Braintree Payments topped all of the month's mobile investments at $35 million, followed by mobile Web development platform Netbiscuits at $27 million. Other notable investments include mobile data billing services provider ItsOn at $15.5 million and app testing startup Perfecto Mobile at $15 million.

Early-stage financing ranged across verticals like m-commerce, health and education. Investors targeted emerging companies like tablet shopping app developer Pickie ($1 million), bicycle rental and sharing app maker Zagster ($1 million) and post-care healthcare app startup Wellframe ($200,000). Rutberg & Company also notes undisclosed investments in Curious Hat and Kidaptive, which produce mobile apps targeting children.

In addition to venture capital firms like Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, LightspeedVenture Partners and Sequoia Capital, strategic investors like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Ventures, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Ventures and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) Ventures also made bets in October.

Speaking Thursday to Reuters, Google Ventures Managing Partner Bill Maris said the three-year-old firm plans to increase its coffers from $200 million a year to $300 million, the same level as more established corporate funds like Intel Capital, which invests between $300 million and $500 million in a typical year. "It puts a lot more wood behind the arrow if we need it," he said, adding that Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page may be planning to give Google Ventures even greater investment opportunities in the near future. "Larry has repeatedly asked me: 'What do you think you could do with a billion a year?'" Maris said.  

For more:
- read this Reuters article

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