TECH MONEY

Austin's Phunware adds millions more in new funding 

The latest infusion will accelerate U.S. and international expansion, software company says.

Posted November 2nd, 2016

Fast-growing Austin software maker Phunware now has $40 million to ramp up international growth of its mobile platform and products.

Phunware said Wednesday that it has closed on $22 million in new funding, the second part of a $50 million funding deal it announced last December.

Phunware said it expects to close on the final $10 million during the current quarter.

Founded in 2009, Phunware sells a software platform that enables brands to connect with users across smartphones and other devices. Customers include entertainment, sports and media companies such as Warner Brothers, NBC Sports and NASCAR.

"We provide a horizontal platform for Fortune 5000 companies to standardize their application portfolios on, just like companies might use Salesforce to standardize their sales and marketing activities on," Phunware CEO Alan Knitowski said in an interview last year. 

Earlier this year, the company rolled out Phunware Data, a data subscription service that gives brands access to more than 650 monthly active devices and 40 billion user events. The service lets brands learn more about who their customers are and how to target and engage with them.

The lead investor in the funding deal was Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the government of Malaysia. Other investors included Wavemaker Partners and PLDT Capital, the investment arm of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.

The new investment brings the total raised by Phunware since inception to $90 million.

In August, Phunware made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies for the fourth consecutive year. It reported revenue growth of 521 percent over the past 36 months.

In addition to accelerating global expansion, the company will use the funding to expand sales, marketing and research and development.

In recent years, Phunware has made several acquisitions, including Miami-based mobile app developer Simplikate Systems, Austin-based mobile software developer Digby and California-based mobile advertising company Tapit Media Group.

Financial terms were not disclosed for Simplikate or Digby.  Phunware said it paid $23 million for Tapit, which develops and syndicates display and full-page ads for iPhone and Android phone apps.

Phunware has about 200 employees, with half of those based in Austin.

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