With $2M from Eric Schmidt, biNu brings smartphone apps to dumb phones
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
We take for granted that the smartphone is on its way to dominance, now that half of Americans have the souped up phones. But smartphone take-up is much slower in developing parts of the world due to handset prices, slower wireless networks and other considerations. The desire for a smartphone experience, however, is real no matter where you are in the world.
That’s where biNu, an Australian startup has been making its mark. The company launched a mobile app 18 months ago that allows Java feature phone owners and low-end Android users to access more than a 100 apps including Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, Google Search and others, on their phone. The biNu app not only delivers a host of smartphone apps to feature phones, it also compresses the data, using 10 times less bandwidth than normal, which is also helpful in countries with rickety mobile networks.
The startup has gotten the attention of Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures, which is leading a $2 million Series A round along with other American and Australian investors. The company will use the money to build out the services and apps it provides, grow its user base and focus more on developers, who can also build directly on biNu.