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Summary:

After we published the story about better options than the lame Verizon YouTube Lite deal, we received a half dozen complaints from mobile startups that weren’t included — that’s how crowded this market is getting. One startup that we didn’t include, but actually has a pretty […]

After we published the story about better options than the lame Verizon YouTube Lite deal, we received a half dozen complaints from mobile startups that weren’t included — that’s how crowded this market is getting. One startup that we didn’t include, but actually has a pretty slick application, is Juice Wireless. We met with the Chairman and CCO of Juice, Nick Desai, earlier this week, and he said that the company is closing a round of funding for $3.5 million next week.

The latest round includes mostly new investors, as well as existing investors like 21 Ventures and brings Juice’s total funds to $9 million (as soon as this latest round is closed). The funds will help Juice Wireless bring in more users of its mobile video and photo sharing application called Juice Caster.

We’ve been playing with Juice Caster and it’s surprisingly easy to use, though for the best experience you still have to download the application onto a video-enabled phone. (Check it out and tell us your thoughts). The startup is also doing deals with companies like AOL and FHM, to co-brand Juice’s web-based widget, which is a good idea.

The hardest thing for these mobile video and photo sharing sites will be to get enough traction (especially with a downloadable application) in the carrier-controlled mobile space. With so many companies doing similar things, it just gets that much harder. Juice has one of the better designed services out there, but as an indicator of how crowded this market is, check out the eBay fate of Mojungle.

  1. Tell us about it. The space is packed with competitors, including my own company.

    That said, I think most of these competitors will start tilting their business plans 15 degrees to the right or the left and servicing other segments of the industry.

    By this time next year, my guess is that half the companies you listed will have redefined themselves, using their platforms for white label solutions, direct marketing, etc.

    The Hoff

    http://www.zannel.com

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  2. I actually used to work at this company, and it’s a revolving door over there. Half the company is in New York, and the other half is in Los Angeles, which can’t work for a company this small.

    The two founders don’t get along at all. Nick has a major-league ego, and the other guy, David, just seems out of it and was never around (rumors swirled about some bad chemical habits). They have both led failed companies.

    If I were a VC, I would avoid this company like the plague. Bad management, crowded space, revolving door, no execution and strategy as clear as mud.

    Oh, and the product stinks.

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  3. Was in touch with Desai for business a few month ago, the guy contacts me has his people reschedule meetins (that I’ve never initated in th first place) and when I get him on the phone finally (phone call set up by him), he says he’s too busy and promise to call you back …not. Very bad experience with that guy.

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  4. [...] Money Within One Year: Jangl, Juice Wireless (even though an exec told us a round was close to closed last December), Mobango, MobileMax, Promptu, SoonR Share/E-mail | Sphere | Print | Topic: Mobile | Tags: [...]

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  5. I used to work for this company as well and it is the most unprofessional company I have ever worked for. I left of my own accord but I have seen so many people fired because of a bad product that no one could sell.

    Nick Desai act’s like a child and has nothing to lose, it’s the other people working there that will suffer, sadly. The product changes direction weekly on Nicks whims, once even from a crack-pot dream he had. Anyone with VC capitol should investigate very carefully because it’s a company of smoke and mirrors. They are all playing pretend.

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