July 31, 2007 13:00 ET
Strategic Investment Ignites Global Campaign to Make "All Phones Smart Phones"
Berggi Announces Strategic Partnership and $9 Million Investment From Europe, in Advance of Major New U.S. and Global Platform Announcement in August and With Explosive Customer Growth; With Direct-to-Consumer Model, Berggi Is On Track to Register More Than 1,000,000 Customers in Its First Year
HOUSTON, TX and MADRID, SPAIN--(Marketwire - July 31, 2007) - Berggi, the fastest-growing
provider of mobile messaging services for consumer cell phones, today
announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Avanzit --
one of Spain's leading publicly traded companies in the telecommunications
and IT sectors -- that will enable Berggi to strengthen the portfolio of
its offerings around the globe. In addition, Avanzit is investing $8
million and Adara Ventures, Berggi's current VC investor, $1 million in
Berggi. Investment in Berggi comes after Berggi's explosive customer growth
since May and in advance of a major new platform announcement that Berggi
is making in the U.S. -- one of its largest markets -- in August.
The partnership is expected to add energy and resources to Berggi's global
campaign to "make regular cell phones smart." Since its soft launch in
November 2006, Berggi has registered several hundred thousand customers and
is on track to reach the one million mark within its first year.
With this partnership and investment with Berggi, Avanzit hopes to create
new opportunities for Navento, one of its key business units. The
Avanzit/Berrgi partnership paves the way for Navento in new markets,
including the U.S.
"Avanzit is looking for the right partners for Navento," said Javier
Tallada, president of Avanzit. "This is one of the most important deals
that Avanzit has made in quite some time. With Berggi's remarkably fast
growth, and its impressive pace of customer acquisition, the global
opportunities for Navento look very promising. We will look for ways to
leverage these opportunities, including a merger with Berggi in the U.S."
Direct-to-Consumer Model Sets the Stage for Platform Strategy
In November 2006, at the time of Berggi's soft launch, it was generally
understood that the company would need to overcome a number of barriers to
its market. In addition to being unknown in the U.S., and with an unproven
concept -- email for regular cell phones -- Berggi also had a
direct-to-consumer model that required customers to download the email
application from a web site to their cell phones.
"We bet that consumers would do it, and in fact they did," said Berggi CEO
Babur Ozden. "It is now nine months since the launch, and we are on track
to reach 1,000,000 users by our first anniversary date."
The successful adoption of the mobile email service validated Berggi's
long-term objective -- to provide the world's first downloadable consumer
portal for mobile messaging and other services. Berggi will release a beta
version of that portal in August, with a roadmap for new services that
customers have indicated they would like to see. The Avanzit partnership
and investment will provide additional opportunities for product
development on the Berggi portal.
Berggi also benefits from community strategy
Berggi has in fact learned a great deal from its rapidly growing customer
base. In the U.S., where the company is growing particularly fast, it has
set up a community site for women consumers, Berggi's primary early adopter
demographic in the U.S. The community, which went live in the Spring, is
helping Berggi learn what its customers want in mobile messaging solutions.
"When serving a new market, companies often wonder what their consumers
want," said Ozden. "We are getting rid of the guess work -- we are asking
our community what they want. This approach will become increasingly
important as we build out our portal."
The company's first service, BerggiMail, is free in the U.S. and currently,
it operates on AT&T and Sprint.
Berggi's mission is to bring the promise of mobile messaging to the masses
all over the world. With a unique service that was purpose-built for the
regular consumer -- and a new business model for bringing the service to
market -- Berggi is enabling consumers around the globe to use email, IM,
text, Alerts and new cutting-edge messaging tools to stay better connected
with friends, family, and colleagues. Headquartered in Houston, Texas and
with offices in Spain, Berggi is building a global foundation to bring
mobile messaging to world markets. For more information, visit