Melodeo – Profile
HQ: Seattle, WA
Management: CEO is Bill Valenti, former CEO of Tegic Communications, a software development/licensing firm that was later acquired by AOL. Tegic created the T9 text-entry method for mobile devices – people either swear by it or hate it. Other execs are ex-Tegic, with the exception of Beth Levine who hails from Real Networks and brings deep contacts in the music business.
Investors: Raised $9.5 million from Ignition, Voyager Capital, Intel, and GF Capital.
Business Model: Software that allows you to download and play digital music on your cell phone. Company claims its software will allow for up to 400 cd-quality songs – will share revenues with carriers and music companies. Pricing is not yet available, but will probably be dictated by record labels and carriers.
Competitors: Big handset manufacturers that decide to develop software internally, Musiwave, Chaoticom.
Dirt: Nobody really disputes the fact that there’s a good opportunity here – this will be a hotly contested market. What sets Melodeo apart is its Tegic experience, and the obvious track-record the execs have with the potentially daunting task of getting your company’s software on to the precious real estate inside a cell phone. Knowing who to call at Vodafone, Nokia, or Samsung is a huge advantage. Tegic sold to AOL for over $300 million – that’s real money. Company also touts a “fully stocked break room” and a “foosball table.” These guys are serious!