What’s the news from the MEF community? Here’s your weekly round up of all the latest announcements from MEF members including product launches, partnerships, research insights and more…
Mobile commerce specialist Upstream has received a significant cash boost from the EU’s investment arm.
The European Investment Bank granted the Greek firm 25m euros as part of the European Commission’s Investment plan for Europe.
Upstream offers products such as infotainment, microinsurance, antivirus, cloud storage, gaming, video portals, app stores, language learning courses and mobile marketing promotions. It works with 60 mobile operators and has 80 million paying subscribers.
Marco Veremis, CEO of Upstream, said: “We are proud to have been selected by the EIB for growth financing. This is testament to our ambitious growth prospects, and the excellent work we have done on research and development, to date. We look forward to continue to invest in this important area in the years to come.”
IoS developers can access tools and training to build better enterprise apps, thanks to a new initiative by SAP and Apple.
SAP will launch the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS on March 30. It will give developers the scalability to build enterprise-grade apps for iPhone and iPad, based on SAP Cloud Platform and built-in Swift, Apple’s modern programming language.
It also comprises a library of prebuilt user experience (UX) components and access to device capabilities— such as Touch ID, location and notifications.
Susan Prescott, vice president of Product Marketing, Apple, said: “We have an incredible opportunity to transform how people work by combining the innovation and security of iOS with SAP’s leadership in enterprise software.”
Giant telco Deutsche Telekom has signed a deal to resell the NetSfere secure messaging service as part of its T-Systems portfolio.
NetSfere, developed by Infinite Convergence Solutions, provides enterprises with device-to-device encryption, location-based features and administrative controls.
Franz Obermayer, Regional Vice President Europe at Infinite Convergence, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with T-Systems to bring secure enterprise communication to organizations worldwide.”
The messaging and voice API firm Route Mobile received a $23m cash boost after selling a minority share to Shrem Group.
Shrem is an investment firm with interests across real estate, finance, hospitality and healthcare. Its founder Nitan Chhatwal said: “(This investment) is a step in Shrem Group’s strategy to further diversify into new age business. We feel Route Mobile’s business model is rather unique and has great potential.”
Rajdip Gupta, group CEO of Route Mobile, said: “On-boarding of a global investor not only establishes the untapped potential of growth in the messaging industry as a whole but is a testimony to Route Mobile’s strategy and vision in particular.”
Shoppers will be able to select products in a shop and walk out without physically paying – thanks to new tech from Wirecard and T-Systems.
The partners are working on an omnichannel showcase in which products and display shelves are connected to the internet. They recognise the buyer, so he or she can pay on leaving the shop – the payment process has already been completed.
Alexander Hahn, Vice President POS Retail Solutions at Wirecard: “In terms of the payment process, it is crucial that it fades into the background: it is all about automated processes…The technology for the future of shopping is already here.”
The two firms are demoing the tech at EuroShop in Düsseldorf this week.
Norway’s Telenor Group will include Netflix in its set-top box TV service, and let customers pay from the mobile bill.
Telenor said the deal is the “first step into a new TV era” for its mobile and fixed-line footprint in its 13 countries: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India.
“Our aim is to provide the best and most relevant digital services to our large global footprint and partnering with the world’s largest internet TV network is one big step towards this,” said Telenor Group CMO, Gunnar Sellæg.
Browser firm Mozilla has acquired the bookmarking company behind the Pocket software for storing articles, videos and other content on the web.
Read It Later has around 10m customers who use its Pocket app or browser add-on to save billion of pieces of content or see what others are storing.
Chris Beard, Mozilla CEO, said: “We believe that the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content is key to keeping the internet healthy by fighting against the rising tide of centralization and walled gardens. Pocket provides people with the tools they need to engage with and share content on their own terms.”
Location-powered mobile marketing firm Verve has signed a deal to develop next gen ad formats based on VR and 360 degree video.
It’s working with visual effects house Digital Domain on the technology, which will marry localised ad placements with dramatic new creative executions.
Kevin Arrix, CRO, Verve, said: “Virtual reality is rapidly emerging as a transformative new advertising medium. We’ve long been familiar with the quality of Digital Domain’s work in this area, and we are excited to partner with them in building the future of mobile advertising that VR represents.”