Medio raises $30 million for mobile search — to battle Google, Jumptap, others

medio.bmpMedio, a Seattle start-up that gives you search results tailored for your mobile phone, has raised $30 million in a second round of funding to keep up with the mobile search Jones’.

Founder Brian Lent worked side-by-side with the Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. So like the guys at Kosmix, who were close with the Google guys, Lent may feel he has some self-redemption to do. Lent reportedly also turned down the No. 1 employee position at Yahoo, as reported by the SeattlePI’s John Cook last year.

Medio finds itself in the middle of competitive but growing market: More people are using mobile phones to search for information. Google, Yahoo and Ask have all released upgrades to their mobile search offerings, but they are stuck trying to offer the same results they offer to your desktop. Medio, along with Jumptap and 4Info are tailoring search especially for your phone.

John Cook summed up what these guys are trying to do in his story about Medio:

Medio’s predictive analytics technology allows people to receive relevant search results on their mobile phones. That’s critical because consumers usually want very specific information in a mobile environment — the closest Starbucks, the Usher ring tone or the departure time for United Flight 386.

4Info is different, because it relies on texting — a user texts 4Info with search queries, and 4info sends back results. Jumptap and Medio offer you a search bar on your phone (visual below). And since Jumptap raised $22 million last month, of course Medio had to follow suit with even more.

The funding comes from Accel Partners, and returning investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Frazier Technology Ventures and Trilogy Equity Partners.

Medio is in a race with Jumptap to sign deals with carriers — to earn the coveted spot as default search engine their phones. Both companies are developing advertising platforms to go with their search.

Medio recently poached Omar Tawakol from Revenue Science — interestingly, another Mohr Davidow portfolio company — to be its chief advertising officer, SeattlePI’s Cook reported recently.

Verizon and Vodafone are using Medio (WSJ sub required) for their search offerings.

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