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Tandem readies $32M fund; preps for new mobile investments

Tandem Entrepreneurs has closed its second fund, raising $32 million, which it will use to further its core mission: investing in early-stage mobile startups. Investors include Verifone CEO Doug Bergeron, former Apple General Counsel Dan Cooperman, Google founding board member Ram Shriram, Playdom founder Rick Thompson and NetApp chairman Dan Warmenhoven.

Tandem began in 2007 in Silicon Valley as a capital fund for mobile startups, taking a particularly hands-on approach with its portfolio companies. Most of the startups in Tandem’s first portfolio either graduated to later-stage funding rounds or have been acquired.

ZumoDrive was bought by Motorola in 2010, becoming MotoCast, the handset maker’s media and storage service. Email management and collaboration software developer Attassa wound up as part of YouSendIt (see disclosure). PlayHaven, which offers up a real-time marketing platform to game developers, hasn’t been acquired yet, but it’s is scaling rapidly, supporting 1500 titles with a combined 500 million game sessions each month.

Last summer, Tandem took its hands-on approach further, launching an accelerator hosting a small number of startups each year. Tandem provides those companies with an initial $200,000 investment and free workspace along with its expertise.

“Tandem’s accelerator program is highly selective and focuses on only a small group of truly exceptional teams,” Tandem co-founder Doug Renert said in a statement. “This way, we can give founders what they need most: time and attention from our team and our entire network. Think of our accelerator like a small liberal arts college where you get to know your professors, as opposed to the large public university where you’re taking each course along with 300 other students.”

The current class includes four companies: mobile gaming rewards platform provider GimmieWorld, social game developer BitRhymes, local event discovery portal UpOut and cross-store shopping tool developer Flit. Tandem is accepting applications for its next accelerator class until July 1.

Disclosure: YouSendIt is backed by Alloy Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media.

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