IXI Mobile – Profile
HQ: Redwood Shores, CA
Management: Co-founders/CEO Amit Haller and Ziv Haparnas are Israeli defense forces R&D men and previously founded and ran Butterfly VLSI, acquired by Texas Instruments.
Investors: IXI raised $25M in 4th round in October 2004. Investors include China Development Industrial Bank, Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures, Intel, Gemini Funds, Texas Instruments and TLCom Capital Partners.
Business Model: Wireless dorks are intrigued by IXI because the vision runs counter to the prevailing trend. Current best-selling mobile devices are of the Swiss Army Knife tradition – running voice, email, web, game, camera and calendar applications. IXI’s vision is to tap Bluetooth, mini-routers, and thin clients so that users can have several devices – a phone necklace, a calendar pen, an email watch. Consequently, IXI Mobile devices would be smaller, cheaper, and more pervasive. IXI’s biggest success thus far has been a standalone IM device launched with AT&T’s OGO – which targets generation Y.
Competitors: RIM Blackberry, Danger, Palm.
Dirt: To date, IXI investors have not been rewarded, but the space is hot so the money flow continues. The problem is that IXI’s vision is too grand for a start-up to accomplish straight-away. So eager was IXI to evangelize wearable technology that it published a magazine on the subject, which it has now smartly divested. The company’s B2B and B2C focuses have resulted in confusing marketing messages. Moreover, the company has not picked a geography to target. We believe that wireless startups in particular should chose amongst Asian, European and North American markets.