Polar Mobile Raises $6m

Polar Mobile has secured $6m (£3.9m) in a funding round led by Georgian Partners. The new funding joins more than $3m invested to date from private investors and is being used to expand globally and launch MediaEverywhere, a new product line that Polar Mobile says “will transform the media industry”.

MediaEverywhere is an HTML5-based solution to distribute media content in a multi-device environment, including smartphones, tablets and desktops. It will include support for both app-centric and browser-based media consumption, and enable Polars media customers to create, design and manage custom user experiences in-house. The company says the solution will decrease customers’ development time and increase their opportunity to monetize their content. MediaEverywhere will launch later in 2012 and be first rolled out to existing Polar customers.

It adds that MediaEverywhere will use audience intelligence to increase engagement and monetization opportunities for customers. These customers include CBS Interactive, Conde Nast, Sports Illustrated, Future Publishing, and The Wall Street Journal. The company has worked with over 380 media brands in 12 countries and served over 1.6bn page views to 11m users to date.

“Polar transformed how media companies deliver content to smartphones and tablets by providing a turnkey, cloud-based software platform for the rapid deployment of feature-rich native applications”, says CEO, Kunal Gupta. “We are thrilled to have the backing of Georgian and now it is helping to accelerate the launch of our next-generation software platform, MediaEverywhere.”

Polar’s current product, SMART, provides a fast and easy solution for media companies to launch custom-branded apps across iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, PlayBook, Windows Phone and Nokia devices. Polar has partnered with top handset manufacturers around the world, and in the past year has entered into commercial agreements with Microsoft, Nokia, Research In Motion, Intel and Samsung.

According to figures from Gartner, more than 440m devices were sold worldwide in the third quarter of 2011, of which, 26 per cent were smartphones. Meanwhile, an October 2011 comScore study showed that the mobile and connected device share of news publisher audience for top media brands is between 7 and 11 per cent of the total. This figure is trending upward, which influences where advertising campaigns should be placed to reach the whole digital audience. The connected device segment of the personal device market will continue to grow quickly beyond tablet computing, says Polar, to include most staple house hold appliances.

Polar Mobile is headquartered in Toronto, with a presence in San Francisco and Dubai. The company plans to open new offices in New York and London during 2012, doubling its team from 40 to 80 people in the process.