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Improvista – Profile

December 9, 2004

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HQ: Mountain View, CA
Founded: 1999 (as Acoustic, Inc., in Japan)
Management: Chairman & CEO (co-founder) is Hiromu Soga. He was the founder and CEO of Spruce Technologies a DVD- authoring technology company, which was acquired by Apple in 2001. Site claims he is an “11-year veteran of high-tech business in Silicon Valley” and “an engineer at Nippon Steel in Japan for 33 years.” How friggin’ old is this guy? Rest of the management team appear to be really good jazz musicians.
Investors: Raised Series B of $1.5MM in December 2004 from Infocom America and three Japanese entities – Orix Capital Corporation, Minato Miriai Capital Corporation and Tsunami Network Partners Corporation
Business Model: Software that allows Jon Q. Cellphone-user to create customized ring-tones. First application is called Mobjam and will offer high-end polyphonic ringtones to AT&T Wireless customers.
Competitors: Too many to list…
Dirt: You can’t come down too hard on Improvista without having tried its ringtone remixing product – and we haven’t – but the concept seems like a bit of a reach. Then again, the idea that ringtones would turn into a massive standalone market also seemed like a bit of a reach… We’ll reserve judgment until we’ve heard Mobjam in action.

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