Notoriously well-connected Russian-American billionaire Len Blavatnik has decided to place a sizable bet on mobile data leader Acision, on Tuesday announcing he would lead the way in a $100 million funding infusion into the firm.
Blavatnik will partner his existing shareholdership in Access Industries with Irish investor Dermot Desmond’s International Investment and Underwriting, and private equity fund Atlantic Bridge, to underwrite the deal.
Privately held Acision currently offers a range of mobile services through its proprietary communications network, including mobile messaging, mobile internet browsing, voicemail, mobile broadband and close to a trillion text messages a year.
The company said that it will use the funding to shore up its position as a global leader in the current frenzy to capitalize on smartphone-ready mobile data. It is rumored to be going public sometime in the next two years–good timing considering its internal forecasts show that global mobile data traffic is set to increase 39 times between 2009 and 2014.
The $100 million shot in the arm will be needed. Acision recent coups in swooping up the business of companies including Pakistan’s Mobilink, MTS, Videocon Telecommunications, Telus, Tata Teleservices and VimpelCom will leave it needing as many resources as it can muster.
Photo via Ed Yourdon