Mozilla Invests in Mobile Startup

Throughout its history, Mozilla has supported innovation on the web by investing in people and its own development. Today Mozilla is moving to the next stage in its evolution, formally investing in a mobile startup that could help to enable its nascent FirefoxOS platform.

Mozilla is participating in a $25 million series C funding round for, which is an HTML5-focused mobile startup. Mozilla is joining the venture team of Telefonica Digital as well as SingTel Innov8 in the funding round.

“This is Mozilla’s first direct investment in another company,” Harvey Anderson, general counsel of Mozilla, told Datamation.

Mozilla started out as a non-profit effort to develop web browser technology. While Mozilla is not profit motivated historically, the open source organization has been growing its financial revenues in recent years. In 2011, Mozilla generated $163.5 million in revenue, up from $123.2 in 2010.

The bulk of Mozilla’s revenues to date have come from the group’s partnership with Google. Moving forward, Mozilla is rapidly ramping up its mobile efforts, which is where will fit in.

Anderson noted that is aligned closely with Mozilla’s mission and goals. The goal of Everythingme is about leveraging the web to empower all types of mobile platforms. One of those platforms is Mozilla’s FirefoxOS, which is currently under development.

FirefoxOS got its start under the name Boot to Gecko and has the support of multiple mobile vendors, including Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor.

“Mozilla sees playing an important role in creating a compelling content experience on Firefox OS,” Anderson said. “Firefox OS is still under development and Mozilla will be able to say more about the user experience closer to launch.”

Telefonica also participated in the funding round for and is also a partner for Mozilla’s for FirefoxOS. Tracy Isacke, Director of Investments & Business Development at Telefonica Digital, told Datamation that the great thing about and indeed Firefox OS is that they are web-based.

“There are no separate development frameworks, as long as you can develop using HTML5 (which most web developers already are), then your app or service will work,” Isacke said. “Discoverability is becoming an issue for developers and the great thing about is that it makes it much easier for consumers to find HTML5-based apps, content, games etc. from their smartphones.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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