Sunday, May 11, 2008

.MOBI registrar rescues mobile Web technology firm Mowser

.MOBI registrar rescues mobile Web technology firm Mowser

The company responsible for the .mobi mobile phone Internet domain, dotMobi, has bought out a mobile browsing company that was on the verge of death just one month ago. DotMobi will immediately integrate Mowser's directory, search, and listings into the service.

"The original strategy around Mowser was pretty simple: provide a service which helps Web sites go mobile, helps mobile sites connect to the regular Web, and helps users access the Web from any handset," said Russell Beattie, a Mowser founder. By adapting every Web site on the planet, theoretically Mowser has an unlimited amount of content to serve up; and though none of that content is directly monetizable, the plan was to capture enough ancillary traffic to make it worthwhile."

Although the company's initial goals made sense, after almost one year in business, it was unable to raise funding and Mowser's growth was leveling off. In an April 14 blog posting, Beattie claimed Mowser was at the "end of its life in its current form."

Almost immediately after publicly announcing Mowser was shutting down, several companies interested in the site's technology contacted Beattie, with dotMobi at the front of the line.

"This is great news -- Miker and I got pinged by a surprising number of people and companies interested in Mowser, but we went with dotMobi because they were first, enthusiastic, and we felt they would provide a good home for our work," Beattie said in his most recent blog post.

Both Beattie and Mike Rowehl will help integrate Mowser technology into dotMobi's back end for new mobile development tools designed for both consumers and businesses. DotMobi's DeviceAtlas will receive Mowser's mobile formatting technology, which will help companies create "device-adapted content."

Financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed. Beattie claims he didn't get rich, but has been able to pay off his debt while also having been giving a temporary reprieve from worrying about rent and food, according to his blog.


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