Funding to Provide Foundation for Growth into Key Vertical Markets
Novato, Calif., November 13, 2006 — ClairMail, Inc., the leader in mobile phone-based customer interaction solutions, today announced that it has secured $12 million in Series B financing led by JAFCO Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in investments for early expansion-stage technology companies. Previous investors Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and Outlook Ventures also participated in the financing.
Building on momentum from the recent release of its mobile customer interaction system customized for retail banking and its solution for the government-mandated multi-factor authentication requirement, ClairMail will use the new capital to expand sales, marketing and product development efforts for its breakthrough mobile access platform and to strengthen the implementation services and partnerships necessary to provide exceptional value to its clients and their end-user customers.
“We have been following the growing mobile space for a number of years and are confident that ClairMail is uniquely positioned to quickly dominate the mobile customer interaction market. We were very impressed with the value proposition that ClairMail is delivering to financial institutions and how those institutions will immediately benefit from providing mobile services to their customers,” said Tom Mawhinney, General Partner, JAFCO Ventures. “ClairMail’s innovative technology meets the changing needs of businesses and consumers alike by enabling a new 2-way channel for secure information via text messaging or wireless email. For existing channels like IVR, live agent and online access, the ClairMail system empowers customers to access secure information whenever necessary and allows businesses to enhance customer service and increase business efficiency.”
“The investment from JAFCO Ventures along with participation from our previous investors comes at a time when mobile phone proliferation has surpassed even the Internet, and the need for secure, on-demand access to important information is not only desirable, but necessary,” said Joseph Salesky, CEO, ClairMail. “We plan to use these additional resources to help meet the dramatic increase in demand for our messaging-powered mobile customer interaction solution among financial institutions. Banks, brokerages and card service companies are quickly realizing that ClairMail’s solution of optimizing the mobile phone for 2-way customer interaction uniquely solves both information access and security challenges in a compelling way.”
ClairMail recently introduced a messaging-powered mobile customer interaction solution optimized for the retail banking industry. The new offering builds on the company’s breakthrough mobile access platform and adds a host of new capabilities to power retail banking services — including fund transfers, actionable alerts, transaction verifications, account information and history and no-hold customer service — in a single, comprehensive system.
ClairMail’s breakthrough technology optimizes any mobile phone for two-way customer interaction. Using the mobile phone’s standard and intuitive messaging functionality, ClairMail empowers financial institution customers to easily access secure information, conduct transactions and get no-hold customer service by sending a single text message or email. Additionally, ClairMail’s Actionable Alerts™ enable financial institutions to deliver complete service to customers as an alternative to expensive channels like call centers and IVR. Unlike other proprietary and inflexible point solutions, the ClairMail system is a turnkey, standards-based offering that seamlessly integrates with existing systems and delivers the fastest time to value. ClairMail removes the friction from customer interactions by empowering mobile customers to retrieve and update vital information from any back-end system. Founded in 2004, ClairMail is headquartered in Novato, Calif. The company is privately held and funded by Norwest Venture Partners, Outlook Ventures and JAFCO Ventures. For more information call (415) 884-7270 or visit www.clairmail.com.
Based in Palo Alto, California, JAFCO Ventures is an independent venture capital partnership focused on companies that are emerging leaders in the software, semiconductor and communications industries. JAFCO Ventures was formed in 2003 and currently manages $200 million in capital. The fund’s charter is to invest in venture opportunities with true “breakout” potential where JAFCO Ventures can meaningfully add value with capital, the experience of seasoned venture capital investors, and the deployment of our Asia business development (ABD) team. The role of the ABD team is to help JAFCO’s portfolio companies generate revenue from customers in Japan and other parts of Asia. For more information, visit www.jafco.com.
Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) has actively partnered with entrepreneurs to build significant businesses for more than 44 years. NVP focuses on early stage investments in information technology including: semiconductor and components, systems, software, services and consumer/Internet technologies. The firm currently manages more than $1.8 billion in venture capital out of its office in Palo Alto, California, USA. NVP has funded over 350 companies since inception. Recent NVP transactions include Airespace (acquired by Cisco Systems), Resonext Communications (acquired by RF Micro Devices), Spinnaker Networks (acquired by Network Appliance) and Winphoria Networks (acquired by Motorola). NVP has also funded such market leaders as Actel Corporation, Brocade Communications, Cerent (acquired by Cisco Systems), Documentum, Extreme Networks, Forte Software (acquired by Sun Microsystems), PeopleSoft and Tivoli Systems (acquired by IBM). Additional information on Norwest Venture Partners is available at www.nvp.com.
Established in 1996, Outlook Ventures actively invests in promising early and growth stage industry-transforming information technology companies in the western United States. Outlook Ventures works with high-potential entrepreneurs toward a shared vision. The firm’s principals utilize their operations backgrounds and depth of software experience and resources to assist in building each individual portfolio company. As a result, Outlook has delivered returns in the top quartile of all venture funds and, more importantly, has helped those entrepreneurs to achieve profound impact on their industry sectors. For more information, visit www.outlookventures.com.
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