Vringo offers video ringtones, snags significant $12M

Vringo, a company that lets you choose video clips and then send them to your buddies as ringtones, has raised $12 million in second round of financing.

You download a software to your mobile phone, which lets you select from a group of clips. You then call your buddies and they’ll get the clip. They, in turn, can pass it own to their friends. Video ringtone offerings aren’t new (see Jamster and Psiloc, for example), but Vringo seeks to extend sharing features.

The financing is led by New York’s Warburg Pincus, which typically invests in later stage companies. Vringo, based in Jerusalem, is in a public testing phase, but will soon launch formally in the United States, Europe and Asia. Its seeking to strike deals with mobile carriers. The investment follows $4.2 million from individual angel investors last year. The company says it needs the cash to unleash a major marketing campaign, given the large number of companies already distributing video on mobile phones.

The company plans to make money by selling premium video content to users. It plans to allow them to then share it for free, which means Vringo will have to sign content licensing deals with publishers.

Vringo’s ringtones also include avatars, greeting cards or photos.

Dan Ciporin, former CEO of Shopping.com, is chairman of the company.

It was founded last year by venture capitalist Jon Medved, now chief executive and David Goldfarb, now chief technology officer.

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