San Francisco start-up PhoneBites, a company that allows people to “razz” others by injecting sound clips into their phone conversations, said last week it has raised a first round of $3 million in financing.

Its patent-pending RAZZ technology allows tech-savvy teenagers and others to download audio clips found online and elsewhere — into phone conversations, thereby impressing, or annoying their interlocutors. We dread what will come: Eager CEOs interrupting a conference call to play a snippet from Martin Luther King’s rousing “I’ve been to the MountainTop” speech, to inspire the troops, or a teenage relative slipping in a high-decibel “I love you” from their latest favorite pop single?

Press release in extended entry. (Via VentureWire)

PhoneBites secures Series A Institutional Financing

Garage, Cardinal, and Siemens invest in creative mobile technology company

San Francisco, CA -January 17, 2005– PhoneBites, Inc., a mobile entertainment and technology company, announced today that it has closed a $3 million first round of institutional financing. The deal was funded by Garage Technology Ventures, Cardinal Venture Capital, and the Siemens Mobile Acceleration.

“PhoneBites is introducing a product that is more entertaining and lucrative than ring tones. We think it is a slam dunk sale to any young person with a cell phone,” said Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures.

“Phonebites is clearly at the forefront of the next generation of tones and sounds for mobile phones and we have high aspirations for the company”, said Dr Dietrich Ulmer, CEO of Siemens Mobile Acceleration.

PhoneBites recently introduced its patent-pending RAZZ(TM) technology, a mobile software application that allows consumers to inject sound clips into their conversations. Following the success of both ring tones and ring backs, the RAZZ has been considered by industry pundits to be the next big hit in mobile entertainment. In the coming year, the company will launch a suite of interactive content and voice productivity applications.

“We are thrilled to have such a strong investment syndicate to help us navigate the challenging startup waters,” said Jeff Malkin, PhoneBites CEO. “Leveraging their collective experience in emerging growth wireless companies, PhoneBites is poised to make a big splash in 2005.”

PhoneBites will use the capital to expand its product portfolio, add global distribution channels and increase infrastructure.

“PhoneBites has developed the most interesting mobile content application we’ve seen in years and we look forward to working with the PhoneBites team and our co-investors to build a successful company. We believe RAZZ tones will prove to be a killer entertainment application for mobile phones”, says Cardinal Venture Capital partner Christian Borcher.

About PhoneBites:

PhoneBites is a mobile entertainment and technology company focused on developing creative, cutting-edge software products and services for mobile phones and handhelds. Founded in August 2002, the company is located in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit www.phonebites.com.

About Garage Technology Ventures:

Garage Technology Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm located in Silicon Valley. Our focus is on emerging technology companies on the West Coast. In other words, we’re looking for “two guys/gals” in a garage who are building the next great technology company. For more information, please visit www.garage.com.

About Cardinal Ventures, Inc.

Cardinal Venture Capital invests in early stage information technology companies, including enterprise software and services, internet infrastructure software, wireless applications, electronic payments, and digital media. Cardinal’s investing team helps build successful technology-based businesses by applying their extensive experience as entrepreneurs and operating managers. Cardinal Venture Capital is based in Menlo Park, California. For more information, please visit www.cardinalvc.com.

About Siemens Mobile Acceleration (SMAC)

Siemens Mobile Acceleration is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Siemens Communications Group. Siemens Mobile Acceleration fosters early stage start-ups that focus on wireless applications and technologies for mobile communication by providing funding and strategic counsel. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Siemens Mobile Acceleration seeks investment opportunities in Europe, Asia and North America. For more information, please visit www.siemensmobileacceleration.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Jeff Kirschner
PhoneBites
1585 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-626-2460 (office)
415-990-7671 (mobile)
jkirschner@phonebites.com
http://www.phonebites.com