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Polar Mobile Warms Up with $6M

2012-01-24
TORONTO, ONTARIO, Platform provider for digital media distribution, announced a $6 million funding round led by Georgian Partners with co-investment from the Ontario Venture Capital Fund.
Polar Mobile, a leading platform provider for digital media distribution, today announced a $6 million funding round led by Georgian Partners with co-investment from the Ontario Venture Capital Fund (OVCF) (Toronto). The new funding joins more than $3 million invested to-date from private investors and is being used to expand globally and launch MediaEverywhere, a new product line that will transform the media industry.

The world's largest media companies work with Polar today, including CBS Interactive, Condé Nast, Sports Illustrated, TC.Media, Shanghai Daily, Future Publishing, Rogers Media, Khaleej Times and the The Wall Street Journal. Polar is a go-to partner for top-tier publishers, broadcasters and sports media brands, having worked with over 380 media brands in 12 countries and having served over 1.6 billion page views to 11 million 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", said Kunal Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Polar Mobile. "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."

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 Polar's media customers to create, design and manage custom user experiences in-house. MediaEverywhere will decrease customers' development time and increase their opportunity to monetize their content.

"The complexity of new platforms and ever-changing business models introduces new opportunities that media companies can benefit from with Polar's help", says Justin LaFayette, Managing Director, Georgian Partners. "We are excited about Polar's ability to scale globally and their vision for leveraging applied analytics to enhance engagement and drive monetization of media."

With the rapidly increasing demand from media companies for scalable software solutions to enable better user experiences that are more personalized and seamless, MediaEverywhere will use audience intelligence to increase engagement and monetization opportunities for customers.

"Digital distribution and monetization is a top priority for media companies around the world and working with Polar has enabled us to accelerate and scale our digital strategy in a rapidly changing world", says Albert Read, Deputy Managing Director, Condé Nast. "The Polar team have been great to work with and we look forward to continuing our relationship."

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.

Gartner reports that more than 440 million devices were sold worldwide in the third quarter of 2011. Of that total, 26% were smartphones, for a total of 115 million new devices in market. 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 percent of the total. This figure is trending upward, which influences where advertising campaigns can be distributed to reach the whole digital audience. The connected device segment of the personal device market will continue to grow quickly beyond tablet computing and grow to include most staple house hold appliances, as seen in the displays at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Headquartered in Toronto, with a presence in San Francisco and Dubai, Polar expects to double their team from 40 to 80 people in 2012 while opening offices in New York and London.

MediaEverywhere will launch later in 2012 and be first rolled out to existing Polar customers.

About Polar Mobile

Polar Mobile licenses to global media companies industry-leading Platform Services that makes it fast and easy to launch branded mobile apps across every smartphone and tablet device. Thousands of mobile apps are powered by Polar Mobile's SMART™ Platform for hundreds of media publishers in dozens of countries, including top-tier magazines, newspapers, broadcasters and online portals across the news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle media verticals.
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