Summary:

SMS media deliverer 4INFO has been around for a few years and runs ad-supported SMS systems that are free to end-users.  A deal has just been announced that GE/NBC Universal have not only selected 4INFO for their exclusive mobile delivery partner but have invested in the […]

SMS media deliverer 4INFO has been around for a few years and runs ad-supported SMS systems that are free to end-users.  A deal has just been announced that GE/NBC Universal have not only selected 4INFO for their exclusive mobile delivery partner but have invested in the company as well.  The deal means that 4INFO will become the GE/ NBC joint venture’s preferred mobile advertising partner and will offer targeted ads on NBC’s existing user-requested SMS traffic.  From the press release:

NBC Universal programs an expanding combination ofinteractive SMS voting, fan clubs and alerts across nearly all of its operatingdivisions, including entertainment, news, local, sports and cableentertainment. 4INFO will provide technology andservices that will enable NBC Universal to offer dynamic, targeted advertisingin its text messaging content. As part of the deal, NBC Universalwill also be able to supplement its own alerts content offerings with 4INFOconsumer services such as health tips, fantasy sports player statistics andcustom, user-defined alerts.

Full press release after the jump.

 NBC UNIVERSAL PARTNERS WITH 4INFO TO ENABLE FREE,AD-SUPPORTED TEXT MESSAGING ALERTS AND CAMPAIGNS

NEW YORK, NY― October 31, 2007 — PeacockEquity, a joint venture between GE Commercial Finance’s Media, Communications &Entertainment business and NBC Universal, today announced an investment in mobilemedia company 4INFO, the leader in SMS/text message content and advertising.4INFO is the sixth Peacock Equity investment since the $250 million fund wasestablished in April.  4INFO will become NBC Universal’s preferred mobileSMS advertising partner, serving targeted advertisements into NBC’s existinguser-requested SMS traffic. The amount of the funding was not disclosed.

NBC Universal programs an expanding combination ofinteractive SMS voting, fan clubs and alerts across nearly all of its operatingdivisions, including entertainment, news, local, sports and cableentertainment. 4INFO will provide technology andservices that will enable NBC Universal to offer dynamic, targeted advertisingin its text messaging content. As part of the deal, NBC Universalwill also be able to supplement its own alerts content offerings with 4INFOconsumer services such as health tips, fantasy sports player statistics andcustom, user-defined alerts.

"4INFO clearly fits Peacock Equity’s strategicfunding objectives: it has a market-leading position within a high-growthsector and it has an existing community of users accustomed to receivingcustomized ad-supported content in text messages this makes; 4INFO a veryattractive partner for NBC Universal,” said Tom Byrne, managing director andgroup head, Peacock Equity. “Mobile advertising will be a multi-billion dollarindustry in the next few years as more progressive content providers andadvertisers like NBC Universal realize its potential to engage audiences withtargeted, measurable messages.”

“We are very excited to partner with 4INFO to provideNBC Universal with additional options for generating revenue in mobile,” saidSalil Dalvi, General Manager, Wireless, NBC Universal Digital Distribution. “Ad-supportedtext messaging is an important way for NBCU to tap into the emerging mobileadvertising market.”

Founded in 2004, 4INFO delivers millions ofreal-time, user-requested answers and alerts via mobile SMS text messages toconsumer’s mobile devices, helping people stay in the know while “on the go.” All4INFO user-requested SMS content is ad-supported, with 4INFO customizingtargeted, interactive response campaigns on behalf of its advertising partners.

“This is a very exciting time to be in the mobilemedia business,” said Zaw Thet, CEO and co-founder of 4INFO. “We are so pleasedto be working with the Peacock Equity team because they not only understand thenuances of our industry, but also how 4INFO can maximize its various assets andbest navigate the path toward growth.”

Previous Peacock Equity investments have been made inAdify, FireBrand, Healthline, IGA Worldwide and Trion.

About Peacock Equity:

Peacock Equity is a $250 million global capital fundco-founded by GE Commercial Finance’s Media, Communications & Entertainmentbusiness and NBC Universal. Introduced in April 2007, the joint venture focuseson companies developing technologies, platforms or business models that are astrategic fit to NBC Universal and have high growth potential. Peacock Equity’scapital investments, which include advertising services, digital content andcommunities, wireless and international platforms, range from $3 to $25 millioneach. www.PeacockEquity.com

About 4INFO:

The leader in text messaging services, 4INFO helpspeople stay in the know while they’re on the go. Founded in 2004, 4INFOdelivers millions of real-time SMS answers and entertainment messages – both asa response to a search query, or as an alert on subjects ranging from sportsscores and weather updates to stock quotes and celebrity gossip. 4INFO’sservices work on any cell phone and are free of charge. Companies also partnerwith 4INFO to connect with their mobile audiences and deliver free ad-supportedSMS content.  4INFO’s SMS ad serving technology and targeted advertisingprograms give businesses the ability to reach consumers in a new medium withmeasurable results. Headquartered in  San Mateo, California,  4INFOis backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Gannett Company, Inc., Sand Hill Capital,U.S. Venture Partners and NBC Universal. Learn more at: http://www.4info.netor send a text to 44636.

About NBC Universal Digital Distribution:

NBC Universal Digital Distribution, a division of NBCUniversal, drives the company’s development of digital content and distributionin the areas of digital business development and sales, digital platforms andwireless products. NBC Universal Digital Distribution manages product strategyand development for NBC Universal’s content efforts by deploying it acrossmultiple digital platforms including mobile, Internet portals, wirelesscarriers, emerging digital companies and nontraditional customers. In addition,NBCU Digital Distribution spearheads the company’s development of industryleading technologies such as interactive television, on demand, electronicsell-through and IPTV.  NBCU Digital Distribution also directs and managesthe company’s cable investments including A&E, The History Channel, HistoryChannel International, The Biography Channel and the Sundance Channel.

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