Then, Burlingame, Calif.-based Mig33 had gained four million subscribers in less than 18 months, by offering an integrated mobile download application that includes features for text messaging, IM, and cheap calls. Now, it has more than nine million total users, including two million in South Africa.
The company is especially popular in developing countries, where the average person is now able to afford cell phones and data services for doing things like accessing the internet.
Mig33 has just raised another $13.5 million Series B round led by DCM, with existing investors Accel, TVP and Redpoint joining in.
The company is currently getting two million user sessions per day, worldwide, with 45 million messages sent per day and more than one million pictures shared per month.
It has also introduced an affiliate program in South Africa, where merchants can sell calling cards for long-distance calls on Mig33, at lower rates than competing calling services (verify that claim for yourself by checking the company’s pricing per country here).
Having lived in Johannesburg for a year, in 1999, I can see why Mig33 is doing well in the country. The standards of living have been rising for many since apartheid, a policy of racial division in the diverse country, ended in 1994. Mig33’s software is the part of the first experience that many South African have with owning a phone — and if it offers the cheapest rates, so much the better.
Mig33 also launched in the U.S. market at DEMOfall 2007. CEO Steve Goh told us there are some specific challenges in the American mobile market, and Mig33 has had to adapt – mainly by focusing on compatibility with existing carriers. Goh declined to provide the company’s U.S. numbers, but he said Mig33 should make real headway here in 2008.