SOURCE: Berggi

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.

About Berggi

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 www.berggi.com.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Giovanni Rodriguez
    Hubbub
    650-279-8415