Mobile Content Networks, a Palo Alto start-up that offers a mobile search technology to third parties, has raised a $6 million first round of venture capital.

The funding comes from Meritage Funds, Frontera Group LLC and The Angels’ Forum, VentureWire reports (sub required).

Mobile search is a crowded area, and this company is relatively late to the game. Google and others are already offering searches tailored for third parties, and are moving aggressively into mobile. Yet, Mobile Content Networks appears to have won over several customers outside of the U.S.

Founded in 2004, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Mobile Content Networks enables carriers and content providers to offer the company’s search technology as their own branded mobile service. That service can alter Internet content to properly tailor it for the small screen on cellphones, and narrow searches to content “channels” appropriate for phones, such as ringtones and wallpaper.

Current Mobile Content Networks customers include Stockholm-based international carrier TeliaSonera AB and media company D2 Communications Inc., an affiliate of Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc. Manlunas said Mobile Content Networks’ initial success in Europe and Asia is due to those regions’ sophisticated use of cellphones…