Muzicall, a provider of ringback tone (RBT), services, has received an additional €2.1 million from new investors Ventech.
This comes four months after Muzicall announced its second round of fundraising, in which it raised €9 million from new and existing investors. The additional funds will enable Muzicall to accelerate its plans to make RBTs available to all European mobile phone users.
“This additional investment [...] will add significant momentum to our expansion throughout Europe; it also demonstrates the faith of the investor community in the potential of ringback tones,” said Patrick Allainguillaume, CEO of Muzicall.
Ringback tones replace the ‘ring ring’ sound a caller hears before their phone call is answered. They typically consist of music, however, customers can also choose from TV and movie themes, sound effects and advertising messages.
Ringback tones have not reached the same level of penetration and revenue in Europe as in other parts of the world. “This year will see a determined drive to increase consumer awareness of RBTs, and increased awareness is proven to significantly increase revenue,”said Allainguillaume.
In Europe, only about two per cent of mobile users have a ringback tone whereas in parts of Asia that number is approximately 40-50 per cent. Muzicall couples marketing that is aimed at raising awareness of ringback tones with its approach of enabling RBTs to be sold (for the first time) through multiple sales channels.
The increasing demand for ringback tones that Muzicall is experiencing in Europe is reflected in recent reports, such as one from the market analysts IDC, which predicts that “Ringback tones will overtake ringtones in 2010 and become the single largest revenue source for mobile entertainment.”
“When operators look at what services to provide their customers, a key factor is the average revenue per user, or ARPU, and the ARPU for ringback tones is significantly higher than for other services, such as ringtones or games,” said Jean Bourcereau, general partner at Ventech. “Put simply, operators make more money from fewer people with ringback tones and when you consider the huge untapped market for RBTs in Europe, the fact that they cannot be pirated, they are affordable for the consumer and they are incredibly ‘sticky’, then it is easy to see why we chose to invest in Muzicall.”
Muzicall’s RBT.4.ALL platform enables customers to create their own content library, giving them the ability to assign a different tune for different callers.