Mobile social networking company Bluepulse has raised $6 million in funding, announcing it two days after a key competitor made a similar announcement.
Bluepulse lets mobile phone users create profiles, and then message and IM each other, as well as share photos and videos. You download its software from its Web site. It’s similar to MocoSpace, which on Monday said it had raised $3 million. Lots of other companies, including Eqo, offer similar services.
The company, formerly based in Sydney, has now officially launched in the U.S., installing its headquarters in the former YouTube offices in Silicon Valley’s San Mateo. Not coincidentally, it is just down the road from the offices of VantagePoint Venture Partners, the firm that made the investment.
Juniper Research forecasts revenues from mobile carriers coming from user-generated content will increase tenfold over the next five years, reaching $5.74 billion, the company notes. Social networking features will account for half of that, and mobile social networking subscribers will hit an eye-opening 600 million in 2012, up from a mere 14 million this year, the study says.
The company was founded by Ben Keighran, 25, in Australia, five years ago. We talked with Keighran several months ago, and he said the trick was to make the service compatible with as many phones as possible.
The company is selectively releasing user metrics to make them sound high, which raises a yellow warning flag for us. It refuses to disclose the number of its active users, instead saying it the service has been downloaded more than two million times. This, of course, creates the impression that it has millions of users, when everyone knows people download services all the time and then never use them. The company says it has close to 100 million page views a month, another metric that has lost its meaning these days when page views can be created in any number of ways.