Macheen, a company trying to provide retailers and device makers with mobile broadband service, launched Wednesday and could possibly fill a much-needed niche as more and more people buy connected devices but don’t want to sign up for more data plans. The Austin, Texas startup aggregates connectivity from mobile operators and sells a data service to device companies and retailers who install Macheen’s software on the gadgets they sell. When a consumer buys the device and brings it home, he can connect immediately to the web via cellular networks and sign up to buy access on a variety of pre-paid plans. There’s no contract, and if someone has multiple devices hooked into the Macheen cloud they can share access among them all.
This is an important step in expanding the spread of connected devices according to Chetan Sharma, a wireless analyst. In a report issued Monday, he pointed out that unless mobile operators provide aggregated data plans to consumers, most would elect to stay on Wi-Fi networks as opposed to paying multiple bills. Plus, this helps cut carriers out of the tablet and connected device chain a bit, which could expand the market for such devices. As Kevin pointed out yesterday, the fact that most tablets are still tied to a carrier retail and connectivity channel made them hard sells as compared to the iPad, which is available in a Wi-Fi only version in a variety of places.
Macheen is backed by more than $2.75 million in funding from DFJ Mercury, Mike Maples Sr. and Tom Meredith, a former Dell executive. In the video, Macheen’s CEO Richard Schwartz discusses why carriers might want to participate in this effort, Dell as the startup’s first customer, and how hard it was to build a cloud service composed of offerings from a variety of different clouds. Check it out.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (subscription req’d):