Mobile video start-up Incoming has highlighted the demand for mobile video content after securing $1.1 million from OneVentures, NICTA and the US-based Citrix Startup Accelerator. Incoming, led by chief executive David McKeague, specialises in mobile content delivery for mobile platforms, delivering high-definition video to mobile devices based on user preferences. It pre-loads content using available WiFi networks, eliminating the need for streaming or buffering, while reducing the cost. Incoming TV is available as a mobile app. Some 600,000 users have already downloaded the beta version and three million videos have been played. Last year, Incoming was selected as one of 23 start-ups for Tech23 2012. Now it has secured $1.1 million in seed financing from a number of investors. The round was led by One Ventures, an Australian venture capital firm that invests in innovative companies in the information technology, life sciences and clean technology sectors. Funding also came from NICTA – Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence – and Citrix Startup Accelerator, based in Silicon Valley. Incoming, based at Australian Technology Park in Sydney, is NICTA’s 11th spinout company. Incoming TV has been developed specifically for mobile phones and tablets. Its predictive support for the service draws from information on the user’s device, including contextual data such as time of day, location, usage patterns and interests, and social and physical behaviour. It then applies NICTA’s machine learning techniques to pre-fetch a suitable selection of video material. NICTA research leader Dr Max Ott joins Incoming as its first chief technology officer. Paul Hoff, NICTA's director of technology transfer, told StartupSmart NICTA has invested a total of $400,000 in Incoming. Citrix Startup Accelerator, meanwhile, invests in start-ups creating the next generation of cloud infrastructure services, mobile enterprise solutions and collaboration technologies. In addition to a $250,000 convertible note investment, start-ups have access to an advisory panel and office space in Silicon Valley. According to McKeague, who is currently overseas, Incoming allows mobile networks to be used more proficiently in off-peak periods. “The mobile industry estimates that over 20% of subscribers watch mobile videos on any given day, accounting for over 50% of global mobile data traffic on wireless networks,” he said in a statement. “This is costly for users, carriers and content providers. The Incoming TV service addresses this by pre-loading content using Wi-Fi networks.” Dr Michelle Deaker, managing director of OneVentures and a NICTA board member, said in a statement Incoming has a “significant opportunity” to capture and support video mobile delivery in global markets. “[This means] effectively unlocking 30 to 40% of untapped mobile network capacity, which is likely to be worth up to $20 billion by 2016,” Deaker said in a statement. Michael Harries, chief technology officer of Citrix Startup Accelerator, said in a statement Incoming’s technology is “compelling and complementary” to Citrix offerings. “Citrix Startup Accelerator invests in only the best entrepreneurs and new businesses creating new solutions for today’s problems in cloud infrastructure and mobile,” he said. “We look forward to working with Incoming as they build a world-class business.” According to NICTA chief executive Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Incoming is an “impressive example of NICTA’s research and entrepreneurial capabilities”.
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Start-ups looking to optimise their email marketing should consider getting in early, with new research revealing almost half of Australians first check their mobile phone at or before 7am. The research, conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of mobility solutions provider Good Technology, is based on a survey of 1,007 Australians. According to the survey, 41% of Australians first check their mobile phone at or before 7am, with almost half indicating they check their phone as soon as they wake, even on weekends. Meanwhile, 35% check their phone and email in bed, while 32% last check their phone at 10pm or later. For 45% of Australians, checking emails on their phone is the last thing they do before they go to sleep at night, even on weekends. This compares with 69% of respondents of a similar survey in the United States, and 28% in the United Kingdom. The findings should help start-ups with regard to the timing of their email and mobile marketing campaigns. According to Jim Watson, Good Technology vice president for the Asia-Pacific, companies have an opportunity to respond to consumers’ increasing reliance on their mobile phones. “We are truly living in the connected age as mobile devices like phones and tablets become indispensible tools to manage our professional and personal lives,” Watson says. “Mobility has ‘unchained us’ from the office so that we can all be productive and connect from anywhere, anytime – whether that’s at home [or] in the office.” According to the survey, women are more likely than men to check emails in bed (39% compared to 30%), although men are more likely to respond to emails on a family day out. Men are also more likely than women to use the daily commute for work on their device (52% compared to 47%). Half of the Generation Y survey respondents (18 to 34-year-olds) use Facebook for work purposes on their smartphone outside office hours, compared to an average of 35% across all age groups. Other popular smartphone apps for after-hours work include work calendar (27%), mobile browser (19%) and intranet (9%). In contrast, 63% of Baby Boomers use no smartphone work app other than email outside work hours. They are also the least likely to check email on their phone during the daily commute – 41% don’t answer calls or check emails, compared to 32% across all age groups. The findings are in line with an earlier report by ExactTarget, which found almost three quarters of Australian consumers still check their emails as their first “digital priority” in the morning. “Email is simply the first priority as consumers start their digital day… Despite the ‘social revolution’, email is still strong,” ExactTarget managing director Lee Hawksley said. “This trend should influence the way in which marketing messages are disseminated to Australian consumers.”
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