Path raises $50 million in Series C, valued at $500 million

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Messaging app and social network Path has raised $50 million in a new funding round according to TechCrunch. The company is now at a $500 valuation, but is still in search of a lead investor. This is a significant jump from the last funding round for the company which occurred last April where it was only valued at $250 million.

Previously, there were reports that the company had been looking to raise anywhere between $75 to $100 million in funding for a $1 billion valuation. It had reportedly received an offer to be acquired by Google for $100 million back in 2011.

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Chinese search engine Baidu purchases mobile app distributor for $1.09 billion

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China’s most popular search engine, Baidu, has purchased mobile app distributor 91 Wireless for $1.09 billion as reported by CIO Today. Baidu has said it would purchase 57 percent of 91 Wireless Websoft Ltd. The companies have until August 13 to agree to terms on the transaction.

91 Wireless operates 91 Assistant and HiMarket, two smartphone app distribution platforms in China. It has said that these markets have been used to download more than 10 billion apps making it China’s biggest third-party app distributor by both active users and downloads.

The purchase of 91 Wireless shows its efforts at better establishing itself  in mobile search, where it has lost traction to other competitors. This is second acquisition for Baidu in the recent months, purchasing Internet video service PPS Net for $370 million in May. These moves show the company is striving to venture past search to match competitors moves. For example, rival search service Alibaba purchased an 18 percent stake in Weibo, a microblogging Service in China similar to Twitter.

The mobile market in China was predicted to surpass the US market by Q1 2013 last November. In February, this prediction rang true. With the purchase of 91 Wireless, Baidu is looking to become the starting page page for all mobile devices in China. At the price of $1.09 billion for only 57 percent of the company, it also shows that it is willing to spend a pretty penny to make that possible.

Mobiroo launches “All You Can App” subscription service in Malaysia

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Toronto-based Mobiroo will begin to offer its “apps on-demand” service in the Asia Pacific. Through a partnership with Malaysia’s biggest telecommunications provider, Celcom Axiata Berhad, Mobiroo will offer an “All You Can App” subscription service providing unlimited access to a selection of top paid apps and games. The service acts very similarly to the way Netflix or Spotify streaming works. The current app library is nearing over 750 with more titles added daily. (more…)

Why mobile coupons are the future of mobile commerce

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Mobile commerce in the US may be slow to adopt mobile consumer payments, but it is still making leaps and bounds in becoming a significant part of all e-commerce. According to comScore, mobile commerce rose to 11 percent of all e-commerce at the end of last year’s holiday season. This is a huge increase from the reported 1 percent in late 2010. With 11 percent market share equating to approximately $18.6 billion in consumer spending, additional growth can only be expected. (more…)

VCs invest $262 million in mobile app developers since beginning of 2013

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Venture capitalists are looking toward mobile app development start-ups as their next saving grace. The rapidly growing space of mobile app development is leading to race to find and boost funding for the companies that develop these apps.

CB Insights has found that mobile app development companies have invested $262 million across 36 deals in 2013 alone. The pace seems to be picking up quickly as this accounts for 59 percent of the funding in the overall mobile development space in 2012. Just in June, six mobile app development companies received significant rounds of financing.

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Shopzilla acquires Zappli, aims to make mobile checkout faster

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Image courtesy Zappli.com

Shopping website portal Shopzilla has acquired Zappli, developer of iOS app myShopanion and mobile checkout experience InstaBuy. As reported by TechCrunch, the companies have yet to disclose any deal terms.

InstaBuy officially launched last fall and provides mobile shoppers a way to store their credit card, billing and shipping information to be used across any mobile application. The technology was first introduced in the myShopanion app which allowed users to shop from a number of retailers including Walmart, Kohl’s and Best Buy. (more…)

Vine to release app for Windows Phone later this year, customized experience for Nokia Lumia

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Currently only available on iOS and Android devices, popular video sharing app Vine, will release an iteration on Windows Phone due out later this year. The announcement was tucked into launch news of Nokia’s Lumia 1020 smartphone. Other popular applications such as Flipboard and Path will make their debut on Windows Phone in the near future as well. (more…)

BlackBerry fires Sales Chief, additional layoffs imminent

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(Image Credit: berryforme.com)

After disappointing sales numbers for the first quarter, BlackBerry has planned a round of layoffs for the company. according to Mashable. The handheld device manufacturer has already fired one of its key executives, Vice President of Sales in the U.S., Richard Piasentin.

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Google issues fix for Android security hole

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Android users can now breathe a sigh of relief. Google has issued a fix for Android that patches a security hole which allowed attackers to turn 99 percent of all applications into Trojan malware. Originally discovered by Bluebox Security, the vulnerability was first brought to light in Android 1.6 “Donut.” The exploit could affect 900 million devices or any Android device purchased in the last 4 years.

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What features are most important for mobile commerce apps?

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According to a study, 57 percent of shoppers use their mobile devices to search for information while out shopping. This statistic shows how important it is for businesses to provide mobile components for their customers either through mobile apps or mobile experiences. The same study provided some significant insight on what type of features are most important to consumers in mobile apps. (more…)

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