December 02, 2011 — Mobile social networking company OnePIN Inc. has raised $900,000 of a planned $1.3 million funding from a group of eight unnamed investors, a federal document shows.
According to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the new fundraise started in September. None of the eight backers in the round are identified in the filing, but CEO Feyzi Celik said the round included previous investors Stage 1 Ventures, Egan-Managed Capital and FA Technology Ventures of Boston. Not involved in this round was previous backer New York-based Greycroft Partners, he said.
Since the company was founded in 2004, OnePIN has taken in approximately $24.3 million over the course of six funding rounds. It released its first product in 2007, a mobile contact sharing and social networking platform that was installed directly onto a SIM card for GSM-based phones. OnePIN sells its CallerXchange service to mobile operators around the world, a service that allows a carrier’s user to turn an incoming phone call into a social contact with a single click, according to the company’s website. In 2008, OnePIN landed a partnership with French technology developer Gemalto NV, one of the largest makers of SIM cards in the world.
Celik said that the company has about 30 employees and counts 17 mobile carriers as customers, giving them a subscriber base of 148 million users. Being based on the GSM standard, which represents “about 87 percent of the global market,” he said, means that they have mostly ignored the United States. But not because GSM isn’t used here — it’s the standard behind AT&T and T-Mobile and represents about 50 percent of the market.
“We’ve never targeted North America,” Celik said. “The decision-making cycles are too long. We are basically targeting growth markets like West Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.” Celik said OnePIN is growing its staff organically, and will be adding some employees in 2012 and 2013, but mainly in different parts of the world.